Landing Ship Tanks (LSTs)
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The Republic Singapore Navy (RSN) launched the first of its new class of Landing Ship Tanks (LSTs) in 1998. Called the Endurance Class, the ships are fully designed and built in Singapore. Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Tony Tan officiated at the launch of the first vessel, christened RSS Endurance, on 14 March 1998.
Landing Ship Tanks (LSTs) are often described as the workhorses of the Singapore Armed Forces as they are transport ships capable of carrying tanks, helicopters as well as troops and their equipment to overseas training areas. The LSTs are also used by the Republic Singapore Navy (RSN) for training cruises and for peacetime rescue and relief efforts.
The Republic of Singapore (RSS) Navy's intention to purchase the LSTs was revealed by Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minster Dr. Tony Tan during his visit to the Tuas Naval Base on 3 August 3 1996. These ships were to replace the five former US County Class LSTs which were acquired by Singapore from the United States in the 1970s. A local company, Singapore Technologies and Engineering (Singapore Technologies Marine) clinched the government contract to design and build four LSTs.
Construction of the Endurance began in early 1997, with the keel laid down at Singapore Technologies Marine's Banoi yard on 27 March.
The 6,000-ton ship is about 140 m in length and has a maximum speed of 15 knots. Sixty-five personnel man the ship. Each ship is outfitted with cranes, navigational and communications equipment, and naval guns with gun-firing control systems. The latter is capable of sector search, acquisition, auto track and gun control against surface and air targets.
Propulsion is provided by two Ruston 16RK270 medium-speed diesels driving two KaMeWa controllable pitch propellers. Range is in excess of 5,000 nautical miles at a cruising speed of 15 knots.
Launch dates of LSTs
14 March 1998 : RSS Endurance*. Officiating VIP was Mrs Tony Tan, wife of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, Tony Tan.
1 August 1998 : RSS Resolution*. Officiating VIP was Mrs Teo Chee Hian, wife of Second Defense Minister RADM (NS), Teo Chee Hean.
13 March 1999 : RSS Persistence. Officiating VIP was Mdm Kho Hui Suan, wife of Minister of State for Defence, Matthias Yao.
February 2000 : RSS Endeavour. Officiating VIP was Minister of State for Defence, and Information and The Arts, David Lim.
*Launch and commissioning dates differ. According to some articles, Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Tony Tan commissioned RSS Endurance and RSS Resolution into the 3rd Flotilla's 191 Squadron on 18 March 18 1998 at Tuas Naval Base.
Notable achievements (at the time of writing)
The RSS Endurance is the first RSN vessel to circumnavigate the globe and to sail through both the Suez and Panama canals. The ship left Singapore on 5 May 2000 and called at nine ports in the United States, Mexico, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Egypt and Saudi Arabia during its four month voyage.
The RSS Endurance participated in the US Navy's International Naval Review 2000, held in New York to celebrate US Independence Day. Visitors were entertained to the beat of lion dances.
The RSS Resolution was the lead ship of a fleet of 36 vessels that stretched over 5 kilometres during the Singapore National Day Maritime Review on 9 August 2000. Other vessels which took part included missile gunboats, mine-countermeasure vessels and coastal-patrol craft. RSS Conqueror, Singapore's first submarine made its first National Day appearance on that day as well.
During CARAT 2000 (Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training), a joint navy exercise between the Singapore and United States Navy, a Mistral surface-to-air missile was fired from RSS Resolution on 19 September 2000.
Peter Pak, 2001
Scott, R. (1999, June 2). Endurance leads new LST line for Singapore. Jane's Defence Weekly, 31 (22).
(Call no.: RCLOS 623.05 JDW)
Singapore's LST set to circumnavigate globe. (2000, March 29). Jane's Defence Weekly, 33 (13).
(Call no.: RCLOS 623.05 JDW)
A close look at life on board the RSS Resolution. (2000, August 7). The Straits Times, Home, p. 39.
Around the world in 120 days. (2000, September 3). The Straits Times, Home, p. 41.
Carat 2000 exercises begin. (2000, September 9). The Straits Times, Home, p. 77.
Catch these sea-borne beauties. (2000, August 8). The Straits Times, p. 32.
Navy launches four new "Made in Singapore" ships. (2000, February 13). The Straits Times, Home, p. 25.
Navy launches its largest ship. (1998, March 15). The Straits Times, p. 3.
RSN to buy four new supply ships. (1996, August 3). The Straits Times, p. 2.
S'pore ship part of US sea extravaganza. (2000, July 5). The Straits Times, p. 3.
Second S'pore ship sets sail. (1999, September 28). The Straits Times, p. 27.
The information in this article is valid as at 2001 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.