Delivery of Singapore’s German-built submarines delayed

Gurdip Singh

Singapore, Jun 29 (PTI) The first of four new German-built submarines for Singapore will be delivered in 2022 instead of 2021 as the pandemic has affected manpower and supply chains globally, the country's defence minister said on Monday.

The Invincible-class submarines, custom-made to operate in Singapore’s shallow and busy waters, will replace the ageing Archer-class and Challenger-class submarines.

The first German-made Invincible-class submarine will now be delivered in 2022 instead of 2021, Channel News Asia quoted Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen as saying.

Ng said the pandemic has affected manpower and supply chains globally and in Germany, but that the delay will not affect Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) operationally as it still operates an existing fleet of submarines.

Ng said the Republic of Singapore Air Force’s (RSAF) new helicopters will also be delayed. The CH-47F heavy lift and H225M mediuM-lift helicopters will now be delivered from 2021 instead of 2020, he said.

Boeing's CH-47F and Airbus' H225M helicopters can carry more, fly farther and require less manpower. They will replace the current Chinook and Super Puma helicopters, respectively.

Meanwhile, the RSAF’s acquisition of four F-35B fighter jets, with the option of buying eight more, remains on schedule, Dr Ng said. These fifth-generation stealth fighters can take off from shorter runways and land vertically, making them suitable for land-scarce Singapore. PTI GS NSA