RSS Stalwart is a Formidable-class frigate. With superior stealth capabilities, powerful firepower system, it is considered by military scholars as the No. 1 warship in Southeast Asia.

Singapore, a small country in Southeast Asia, has an armed force that has been established since 1965. From a starting point of only 2 regiments, the Singaporean army has made great strides. Under the ingenious leadership of the late Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore has become the most prosperous nation in the world.

Economic success has set the stage for the army to increase its strength. So far, the Singaporean army possesses many stealth warships, submarines and powerful fighter squadrons. According to data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, the lion island’s defense budget has been the highest in Southeast Asia since 1981. From the 1980s onwards, the army began to modernize, they have imported many modern weapons from the West.

RSS Stalwart frigate of the Republic of Singapore Navy

Singapore is an island nation so they have invested heavily in the navy. The Singapore Navy is the first force in Southeast Asia to possess a Formidable-class Stealth Frigate produced by France. The 6 frigates of this class have been in operation since 2008, making them become a force with the most frigates in the region. RSS Stalwart is one of the Formidable-class stealth frigate of the Republic of Singapore Navy, and is multi-mission derivatives of the French Navy’s La Fayette-class frigate. The six ships form the 185 Squadron of the Republic of Singapore Navy. RSS Stalwart was launched in December 2005 and fully operational in January 2009.

Singapore Navy
RSS Stalwart frigate of the Republic of Singapore Navy

The RSS Stalwart’s design is a smaller derivative of the French La Fayette Class stealth frigate with low radar, acoustic, infrared and electromagnetic signatures. Radar cross section reduction features have been incorporated into the Formidable class design, with inclined hull sides and bulwarks as well as concealment of ship boats and replenishment-at-sea equipment behind low-Radar cross section curtains. The vessel has a significantly reduced profile than the La Fayette class and her other derivatives, due to the smaller superstructure and the use of enclosed sensor mast technology. The frigate is also constructed entirely of steel, unlike the La Fayette class which makes extensive use of weight-saving composite structures in its aft superstructure block.

Singapore Navy
RSS Stalwart frigate of the Republic of Singapore Navy

A high level of automation and closely integrated combat and ship management systems have been selected to allow the frigate to be operated with a crew of just 70. The overall length is 114.8m with a beam of 16.3m and draught of 6.0m. The full load displacement is 3,200t.

The frigate is powered by four MTU 20V8000 diesel engines in a combined diesel and diesel configuration, outputting 12,200 horsepower each and 4 ISM V1708 diesel generators of 1,150 horsepower each. Maximum speed in ideal conditions reaches 27 knots and range is out to 4,200 nautical miles. In the stern area there is a flight deck and hangar for up to two S-70B Seahawk multi-mission capable naval helicopter. The hangar is fully equipped with helicopter support and maintenance systems.

Singapore Navy
RSS Stalwart frigate of the Republic of Singapore Navy

RSS Stalwart is equipped with the Thales Herakles passive electronically scanned array multi-function radar, which serves as the main surveillance radar of the frigate in a range of up to 250km. Other radars included Thales STING EO Mk2 Fire control radar, Navigation radar is Terma Electronic Scanter 2001. The radar, installed in a radome on top of the main mast, carries out long-range air and surface surveillance and weapon control.

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The vessel’s electronic support measures system is the Rafael C-PEARL-M radar intercept. Three Sagem Défense Sécurité new-generation Dagaie systems are fitted. Two Leonardo Finmeccanica Morpheus anti-torpedo suite with WASS C310 launchers, are mounted on the aft of the ship.

Singapore Navy
RSS Stalwart frigate of the Republic of Singapore Navy

The frigate is equipped with a powerful firepower system with Boeing Harpoon missiles and Oto Melara 76mm guns for surface defence. The Harpoon missile has a range of 130 km  and uses active radar guidance. It is armed with a 227kg warhead. There is space for as many as 24 Harpoon missiles at the center of ship making it the most well armed ship of its class. For anti-submarine, the frigate is equipped with 2 B515 triple tubes with reloads for EuroTorp A244/S Mod 3 torpedoes hidden behind the bulwark.The frigate is fitted with the DCNS Sylver vertical launch system with MBDA Aster 15 surface-to-air missiles. There are four eight-cell SYLVER A43 launch modules with 32 missiles.In general, the Singapore’s Formidable class frigate has superior stealth capabilities, a strong firepower system, and is rated by military experts as one of the most powerful warships in Southeast Asia.

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