Endurance-class landing platform dock

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Singapore Strait Passing warship.jpg
RSS Persistence (209) in the Singapore Strait.
Class overview
Name: Endurance
Builders: ST Engineering (Marine)
Operators:  Republic of Singapore Navy
 Royal Thai Navy
Preceded by: County class
Completed: 5
Active: 4
General characteristics
Type: Landing platform dock
Displacement: Standard: 6,500 t (6,400 long tons; 7,200 short tons)
Full load: 8,500 t (8,400 long tons; 9,400 short tons)
Length: 141.0 m (462 ft 7 in)
Beam: 21.0 m (68 ft 11 in)
Draught: 5.0 m (16 ft 5 in)
Ramps: 2 × (bow and stern)
Installed power: 4 × Ruston 6RK215 diesel generators, each producing 875 kW (1,173 hp)
Total output: 3,500 kW (4,690 shp)
Propulsion: Combined diesel and diesel (CODAD) arrangement
2 × Ruston 16RK 270 diesels, each producing 5,500 kW (7,400 hp), coupled to two Kamewa controllable pitch propellers
Total output: 11,000 kW (14,800 shp)
Speed: In excess of 15 kn (28 km/h; 17 mph)
Range: 5,000 nmi (9,300 km) at 15 kn (28 km/h; 17 mph)
Boats & landing
craft carried:
4 × 13 m (43 ft) Fast Craft Equipment & Utility (FCEU) on davits
2 × 25 m (82 ft) Fast Craft Utility (FCU) inside well deck
Capacity: 18 tanks, 20 vehicles and bulk cargo
Troops: > 350–500
Crew: 65 (8 officers and 57 men)
Sensors and
processing systems:
Search radar: IAI/ELTA EL/M-2238
Navigation radar: Kelvin Hughes Type 1007 (I band)
Weapon control: CS Defense NAJIR 2000 electro-optronic director
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
ESM/ECM: RAFAEL RAN 1101
Decoys: 2 × GEC Marconi Marine Shield III 102 mm sextuple fixed chaff/decoy launcher
Armament: Anti-air: Mistral missiles launched from 2 × Simbad twin launcher mounts
Main gun: 1 × Oto Melara 76 mm super rapid gun
Autocannons: 2 × 25mm M242 Bushmaster Mk 38 Mod 2 (with stabilised Typhoon weapon sighting system, mounted amidships on port and starboard side)[1]
Machine guns: 4 × CIS 50MG 12.7 mm (0.50 in) HMGs
Aircraft carried: AS 332M Super Puma or AS532UL/AL Cougar or CH-47SD Chinook helicopters
Aviation facilities: Flight deck and enclosed hangar for up to 2 medium-lift helicopters
Notes: Ships in class include:
RSS Endurance (207)
RSS Resolution (208)
RSS Persistence (209)
RSS Endeavour (210)

The Endurance class landing platform dock ships (LPD) are the largest class of ships in the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN). They were designed and built by Singapore Technologies (ST) Marine to replace the old County class tank landing ships (LST). The four ships form the 191 Squadron of the RSN.

Planning and development[edit]

The navy's intention to purchase the Endurance class was revealed by former Defence Minister Dr. Tony Tan during his visit to Tuas Naval Base on 3 August 1996. These ships were to replace the five ex-United States Navy (USN) County class LSTs, which were acquired by Singapore from the United States in the 1970s. ST Marine was awarded the government contract to design and build the four ships – a significant milestone for the local defence and shipbuilding industries given the scale and extensiveness of the programme.

Construction of the Endurance began in early 1997, with the keel laid down at ST Marine's Benoi yard on 27 March 1997.

Name Pennant Number Launched Commissioned
RSS Endurance 207 14 March 1998 18 March 2000
RSS Resolution 208 1 August 1998 18 March 2000
RSS Persistence 209 13 March 1999 7 April 2001
RSS Endeavour 210 12 February 2000 7 April 2001
HTMS Angthong LPD-791 21 March 2011 19 April 2012[2]


Design and construction[edit]

Port stern view of RSS Endeavour (210) at sea
A Republic of Singapore Air Force Super Puma takes off from the flight deck of the RSS Resolution (208). Visible in the foreground is the ASIST system

The Endurance class is 40% larger than the previous County class that she replaced yet travels almost twice as fast. Each ship is fitted with a well dock which can accommodate four landing craft, as well as a flight deck which can accommodate two medium lift helicopters.[3]

While the RSN describes the Endurance class as LSTs, they lack the beaching capability traditionally associated with LSTs and their well docks and flight decks qualify the Endurance class more as amphibious transport docks. The term "multipurpose support vessel" is closer to the intent of its use, given the necessary limited objectives of the RSN as a small naval force operating primarily in littoral waters.

The Endurance class was built with a heavy emphasis on automation. RSS Endurance became the first ship in the world to use official electronic navigational charts with the Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS) to circumnavigate the world.[4] The integrated bridge system allows the operator to access the navigation and communications systems, the ECDIS and other vital systems needed to sail the ship effectively, while the Ship Control, Monitoring and Management System controls, monitors and manages most of the platforms on board. The ships are also equipped with an Aircraft Ship Integrated Secure and Traverse (ASIST) system which helps in landing, securing, manoeuvring and traversing a helicopter, and eliminates the need for deck personnel to secure helicopters upon landing.[5] All these result in a high degree of automation, with a reduced manning requirement of 65 crew members for a 6,500-tonne ship.[6]

Landing Helicopter Dock[edit]

At the 2014 Singapore Air Show, a model of the Endurance-160 multirole support ship was displayed as a landing helicopter dock. The Singapore Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) could not confirm nor deny that a vessel of the type would be built. There is speculation that such an LHD could be used as a light aircraft carrier given Singapore's confirmed interest in acquiring the F-35 Lightning II, specifically the F-35B short-takeoff, vertical-landing (STOVL) variant. A sea-based airfield in the form of a light carrier would be beneficial to the country for maintaining sea lines of communication in the Malacca Strait, especially with Singapore reducing its number of land air bases from three to one. The STOVL F-35B needs at minimum 168 m (551 ft) of runway to take off, making it useful on the congested land mass and on ships at sea. Problems for the LHD concept include the 25 percent greater procurement and operating costs of the F-35B compared to the standard takeoff version and greater fuel consumption needed for vertical take-off; greater costs would result in fewer planes being bought. The design of the Endurance class would have to be considerably revamped with a larger space to operate and store fixed-wing aircraft with a larger elevator and a ski ramp. With domestic submarine, littoral mission vessel, and F-16 upgrade programs underway, the start of F-35B and light carrier procurement may start after 2021.[7]

Operational history[edit]

RSS Resolution (208) at anchor in the Gulf of Thailand, with USS Denver (LPD 9) passing behind during Cobra Gold '11.
USS George H.W. Bush underway with RSS Endeavour in the Gulf of Aden.
RSS Endeavour at Garden Island during the International Fleet Review 2013.

The ships provide sea transportation for personnel and equipment for Singapore Armed Forces' overseas training, as well as a training platform for RSN's midshipmen. RSS Endurance became the first RSN ship to circumnavigate the globe when it participated in the 6th USN International Naval Review in New York City,[8] passing through both Panama and Suez canals.

The ships actively participate in various multilateral exercises annually. RSS Resolution successfully fired a Mistral surface-to-air missile during Exercise Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training in 2000, an annual joint naval exercise between the USN and RSN.[9] RSS Endurance participated as both a compliant and non-compliant vessel for boarding teams during Exercise Sea Sabre in 2004 as part of the Proliferation Security Initiative.[10]

The ships are active participants in multinational peacekeeping efforts. As part of Singapore’s contribution to the reconstruction efforts in Iraq, RSS Endurance was sent to the Persian Gulf in October 2003 for two months.[11] RSS Resolution followed in November 2004 and RSS Endeavour in February 2006.[12][13] The ships conducted logistical tasks, such as replenishing supplies for other naval vessels in the Persian Gulf, and conducted patrols to enforce maritime presence. They also served as a platform for helicopter missions and maritime boarding operations missions by teams from other coalition countries when they inspected ships leaving Iraq. The last deployment saw the RSS Resolution taking on the expanded role of taking charge of coalition and Iraqi Navy ships to defend Iraq's oil platforms.[14] On 1 September 2007, RSS Persistence became the fourth ship to be deployed to the Persian Gulf in support of the multinational reconstruction efforts in Iraq.[15] RSS Resolution was subsequently tasked for RSN's fifth deployment to the Gulf on 30 August 2008.[16]

The ships were also involved in various humanitarian relief operations, such as the tsunami-hit Indonesian province of Aceh in 2004. Within a few days of the disaster, the RSS Endurance sailed to Aceh in Indonesia to deliver emergency supplies and medical personnel to aid in the relief efforts. She was then joined by RSS Persistence on 4 January 2005 and RSS Endeavour on 16 January.[17]

On 12 February 2009, Minister of Defence Teo Chee Hean announced that RSS Persistence would join other naval forces off the coast of Somalia for three months in 2009. Comprising an LST with two Super Puma helicopters on board, the Singapore Armed Forces Task Group has been conducting daily helicopter surveillance flights and sector patrols to deter and disrupt piracy activities. The ship worked with the multinational Combined Task Force 151 to protect shipping in the Gulf of Aden.[18] Since then, two additional SAF task groups have been deployed to the Gulf of Aden, RSS Endurance from June to October 2010 and RSS Endeavour from August 2011.[19]

In October 2013 RSS Endeavour participated in the International Fleet Review 2013 in Sydney, Australia.[20]

Export[edit]

On 11 November 2008, a SGD 200 million contract was signed between ST Marine and Thailand for the sale of one unit of the Endurance class LPD and its associated landing craft.[21][22] The LPD would use the Terma C-Series system, which includes the C-Flex combat management system, C-Search radar suite which includes the Scanter 4100 radar and IFF, and the C-Fire fire control system.[23]

On 21 March 2011, the new ship was christened HTMS Angthong (pennant number LPD-791) and was launched from ST Marine's dockyard by the wife of Admiral Khamthorn Pumhiran, Commander-In-Chief of Royal Thai Navy (RTN). The delivery of the ship was completed on 19 April 2012.[2][24]

See also[edit]

Comparable ships[edit]

References[edit]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ "RSN – Assets – Weapons". Ministry of Defence (Singapore) (MINDEF). 23 July 2010. Retrieved 15 September 2010. 
  2. ^ a b "Navy officially welcomes HTMS Ang Thong to fleet", Bangkok Post (20 Apr 2012)
  3. ^ "Characteristics of the Endurance class LST". MINDEF. Retrieved 2004-09-26. 
  4. ^ "International Dimension". United Kingdom Hydrographic Office. Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-04-21. 
  5. ^ "DSTA equips RSN with technologically advanced Landing Ship Tanks". DSTA. Retrieved 2007-04-21. [dead link]
  6. ^ "Factsheet – New Landing Ship Tank". MINDEF. Retrieved 2007-04-21. 
  7. ^ Is a Light Carrier in Singapore's Future? - Defensenews.com, 1 March 2014
  8. ^ "Speech by Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam, Deputy Prime Minister & Minister for Defence, on the Occasion of the Commissioning Ceremony for the RSN Landing Ship Tank, RSS Endurance & RSS Resolution Held on Saturday, 18 March 2000 at 10:00 AM at Tuas Naval Base". MINDEF. Retrieved 2006-10-17. 
  9. ^ "Landing Ship Tanks". National Library Board. Retrieved 2007-04-21. 
  10. ^ "Sea Sabre". Global Security. Retrieved 2007-04-21. 
  11. ^ "SAF Deploys LST and C-130 to Assist in Reconstruction of Iraq". MINDEF. Retrieved 2007-04-21. 
  12. ^ "SAF Landing Ship Tank Deployment to Aid in the Reconstruction of Iraq". MINDEF. Retrieved 2007-04-21. 
  13. ^ "SAF Landing Ship Tank Deployment to Aid in the Reconstruction of Iraq". MINDEF. Retrieved 2007-04-21. 
  14. ^ "A taste of home after successful Gulf deployment". MINDEF. Retrieved 2007-04-21. 
  15. ^ "SAF Landing Ship Tank Deployment to the Gulf". MINDEF. Retrieved 2007-09-01. 
  16. ^ "Fifth Deployment of Landing Ship Tank to the Gulf to Support Reconstruction of Iraq". MINDEF. Retrieved 2009-03-25. 
  17. ^ "2000 – The LSTs of 191 Squadron". MINDEF. Retrieved 2007-04-21. 
  18. ^ "Singapore to join anti-piracy efforts in Gulf of Aden". Channel NewsAsia. 12 February 2009. 
  19. ^ "Third SAF task group sails for Gulf of Aden". Channel NewsAsia. 22 August 2011. 
  20. ^ Commonwealth of Australia (2013). "Participating Warships: International Fleet Review, Sydney, Australia, 3–11 October 2013". www.navy.gov.au. Royal Australian Navy. Retrieved 5 October 2013. 
  21. ^ "ST Engineering's Marine Arm Secures S$200m Contract To Design And Build Landing Platform Dock". STE. Retrieved 2009-10-11. 
  22. ^ "ST Marine wins contract for Thai amphibious vessels". Jane's Navy International. November 2008. 
  23. ^ "C-Series Combat System from Terma to the Royal Thai Navy’s Landing Platform Dock". Terma. Retrieved 2009-10-11. 
  24. ^ "Royal Thai Navy receives HTMS Ang Thong", Naval Technology (20 Apr 2012)

External links[edit]