Bedok class mine countermeasures vessel

Bedok class mine countermeasures vessel

The "Bedok" class are mine countermeasures vessels (MCMVs) of the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN). They play an important role in the maritime security of Singapore, ensuring that the Singapore Strait and the sea lanes surrounding Singapore remain mine-free and open to international shipping. It is estimated that closure of Singapore’s ports would result in direct trade losses amounting to more than $1.2 billion a day, posing a serious threat to Singapore's economy. [cite book | author=Republic of Singapore Navy | title=Onwards and Upwards | publisher=SNP International Publishing | year=2007 | id=ISBN 981-248-147-8] [cite web | title=The Republic of Singapore Navy | work=Navy League of Australia | url= | accessdate=2008-04-16] The four ships form the 194 Squadron of the RSN.


The RSN acquired mine countermeasure (MCM) capabilities as early as 1975, when the United States Navy's USS "Thrasher" and USS "Whippoorwill" were reactivated by the RSN's engineers and technicians in California. These "Bluebird" class coastal minesweepers were commissioned as RSS "Jupiter" and RSS "Mercury" respectively. RSS "Jupiter" was scrapped on 15 August 1986 and RSS "Mercury" was decommissioned on 31 March 1993. The need for modern minehunting vessels saw Singapore entering into an agreement with Sweden in 1991 to purchase four "Landsort" class MCMVs. [cite web | title=Keeping our waters safe: The MCMVs of 194 Squadron | work=MINDEF | url= | accessdate=2008-04-16]

Design & construction

The ship's design incorporates a number of features important for mine countermeasures – low acoustic and magnetic signatures, as well as shock resistance to underwater explosions.

The "Bedok" class is made of glass-reinforced plastic, designed by the Swedish Navy and Kockums. Its low magnetic and acoustic signatures reduces the possibility of setting off mines. It is highly durable, fire- and shock-resistant, easy to repair and is maintained only by painting. [cite web | title=Landsort class mine countermeasure vessel, Sweden | work=Naval Technology | url= | accessdate=2008-04-16] The ship's bridge, major combat equipment and engines are also shock-mounted to cushion against underwater explosions. [cite web | title=Safe in my wake... | work=MINDEF | url= | accessdate=2008-04-16]

Each of the "Bedok" class MCMV is powered by two independent vertical Voith-Schneider propellers, designed specifically to ensure excellent manoeuvrability and low noise signature. [cite web | title=Landsort class - an outstanding MCMV | work=Kockums | url= | accessdate=2008-04-16]

The first ship, RSS "Bedok", was built by Kockums (then known as Karlskronavarvet) in Sweden based on the "Landsort" class design. The hulls of the remaining three ships were prefabricated in Sweden and transferred to Singapore for final assembly by Singapore Technologies (ST) Marine. [cite book | author=Daniel Todd, Michael Lindberg | title=Navies and Shipbuilding Industries: The Strained Symbiosis | publisher=Greenwood Publishing Group | year=1996 | id=ISBN 027-595-310-6]

Mine countermeasures

Each ship carries two ECA PAP Mk 5 remotely operated mine disposal vehicles from France, for the identification and destruction of mines. The MCMVs also work closely with the explosive ordnance disposal divers from the Naval Diving Unit for mine disposal. [cite book | author=Republic of Singapore Navy | title=Onwards and Upwards | publisher=SNP International Publishing | year=2007 | id=ISBN 981-248-147-8] The "Bedok" class is equipped to control the Kockums remote-controlled catamaran minesweepers. [cite web | title=SAM | work=Kockums | url= | accessdate=2008-04-16] The ships are also capable of laying a defensive minefield. [cite journal | last= | first= | year=2007 | month=May | title=Coastal Defence Forces (Singapore) | journal=Jane's Amphibious and Special Forces | volume= | issue= | pages=]


The "Bedok" class is equipped with a Thales Underwater Systems (formerly Thomson Marconi Sonar) TSM 2022 hull-mounted minehunting sonar. The sonar has a detection range of convert|2|km|ft|abbr=on for submarines and convert|500|m|ft|abbr=on for mines. The classification range for a mine is typically 200 m to 300 m. [cite web | title=Landsort class mine countermeasure vessel, Sweden | work=Naval Technology | url= | accessdate=2008-04-16]

The ship's navigation radar is the Norcontrol DB2000 operating at I band.

Major exercises

The ships frequently participate in exercises with various countries. These include:
* Western Pacific Naval Symposium MCMEX/DIVEX, a multinational exercise involving 21 countries [cite web | last=Yuankai | first=Lin | year=2006 | month=August | title=Always Safe in our Wake | journal=Navy News | url= | accessdate=2008-04-16]
* Exercise Bersama Padu, a Five Power Defence Arrangement exercise [cite web | year=2006 | month=August | title=Ex Bersama Padu 06 | journal=Royal new Zealand Navy - Navy Today | url= | accessdate=2008-04-16]
* Exercise Mercury, an annual exercise with the United States Navy [cite web | year=2002 | month=July | title=Squadron Exercise to Test Mine Warfare Training | work=United States Navy | url= | accessdate=2008-04-16]
* Exercise Lejon Singa, an annual exercise with the Swedish Navy [cite web | year=2007 | month=June | title=Republic of Singapore Navy and Royal Swedish Navy Conduct Annual Exchange Program, Ex Lejon Singa | work=MINDEF | url= | accessdate=2008-04-16]
* Joint MINEX, an annual exercise with the Indonesian Navy [cite web | year=2007 | month=July | title=Singapore and Indonesia Navies Commemorate 10th Anniversary of Bilateral Exercise | work=MINDEF | url= | accessdate=2008-04-16]

ignificant events

After the crash of SilkAir Flight MI 185 on 19 December 1997 in the Musi River near Palembang, RSS "Bedok", RSS "Kallang" and RSS "Punggol" were deployed as part of a Singapore Armed Forces contingent to assist Indonesian authorities in their search and recovery operations near the crash site. [cite web | last=Yuankai | first=Lin | year=2005 | month=March | title=COSCOM Muscles Up For Challenges Ahead | journal=Navy News | url= | accessdate=2008-04-16]

The RSN was the first navy invited by the Indonesian Navy to conduct MCM operations to clear World War II mines off Tanjung Awar Awar, 70km north-east of Surabaya in February 1997. RSS "Bedok" and RSS "Kallang", together with two Indonesian Navy vessels, successfully neutralised eight buried mines. [cite web | year=1997 | month=October | title=GPC-DFA Members Given Insight Into Mine Hunting Operations | work=MINDEF | url= | accessdate=2008-04-16]

The ships were also involved in search and rescue operations after a Royal Navy Westland Lynx helicopter crashed into the South China Sea together with its two personnel onboard during a training exercise on 23 September 1998. [cite news | first= | last= | title=UK navy co-pilot missing after helicopter crashes | work=The Associated Press | publisher=Turkish Daily News | date=1998-09-25 | accessdate=2008-04-16 ]


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  • Landsort class mine countermeasures vessel — The Landsort class mine countermeasures vessel is built by Swedish shipbuilding company, Kockums (formerly Karlskronavarvet) for the Swedish Navy and the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN).DesignAs a mine countermeasure vessel, the hull is made out …   Wikipedia

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