Republic of Singapore Navy Fearless-class patrol vessel RSS Gallant (97)
Republic of Singapore Navy Fearless-class patrol vessel RSS Gallant (97)

Royal Brunei Navy to Induct ex-Republic of Singapore Navy Fearless-class Patrol Vessels

The Royal Brunei Navy (RBN) will soon operate ex-Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) Fearless-class patrol vessels. Global open-source intelligence company Janes the RBN is presently in the process of receiving these vessels, which were in service with the RSN as RSS Brave (95) and RSS Gallant (97). These vessels will be known as KDB As-Siddiq and KDB Al-Faruq, respectively, once commissioned by the RBN. The two vessels are being transferred as a gift, and the move is a symbol of the close defence relations between the two smallest Southeast Asian countries. Brunei and Singapore have close and friendly relations with extensive defence co-operation.

The Fearless-class patrol vessels were built by Singapore Technologies (ST) Marine for the Republic of Singapore Navy in the 1990s. Together, the ships formed the 182 and 189 Squadron. The Fearless-class patrol vessels were ordered as replacements for the earlier Swift-class coastal patrol craft after they had been transferred to the Police Coast Guard. The first six vessels of the class: Fearless (94), Brave (95), Courageous (96), Gallant (97), Resilience (98) and Unity (99), are armed for anti-submarine warfare missions. The remaining six vessels: Resilience (82), Unity (83), Sovereignty (84), Justice (85), Freedom (86) and Independence (87) are patrol vessels. The first six vessels are fitted for anti-submarine warfare, while the remainder are configured as patrol vessels.

Republic of Singapore Navy Patrol Vessels RSS Fearless (foreground), RSS Brave (middle) and RSS Dauntless (background -left) at the decommissioning ceremony in Tuas Naval Base.(Photo by MINDEF Singapore)

The patrol vessel is powered by two MTU 12V 595 TE 90 diesel engines coupled to ZF gear boxes. It is equipped with an MTU ship control monitoring and management system (SCMMS). In a departure from traditional conventional drives, the patrol vessel is fitted with twin waterjet systems developed by KaMeWa of Sweden. The patrol vessel’s main gun, installed on the bow deck, is the Oto Melara 76mm Super Rapide. The patrol vessels are also armed with four CIS 50 12.7mm general-purpose machine guns. The air defence system is the Simbad twin missile launcher for the Mistral surface-to-air missile, supplied by MBDA. The first six vessels are armed with triple tube 324mm B515 torpedoes launchers from Whitehead Alenia.

In January 2005, 189 Squadron was transferred to the Coastal Command from the Fleet, and the 11 Fearless-class patrol vessels now form the 182 and 189 Squadron. In April 2012, ST Marine was awarded a contract by the Ministry of Defence of the Oman to build four 75-metre (246 ft) patrol vessels based on the Fearless class. The vessels was delivered as the Al-Ofouq class between 2015 and 2016. In November 2021, ST Engineering was awarded a sub-contract for design, platform equipment and technical assistance by Abu Dhabi Ship Building (ADSB), which is building four Falaj 3-class Offshore Patrol Vessels based on the Fearless class for the UAE Navy.