Archer-class submarine

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Rss archer.jpg
RSS Archer in Sweden
Class overview
Builders: Kockums
Operators:  Republic of Singapore Navy
Preceded by: Challenger class
Succeeded by: Type 218SG
Completed: 2
Active: 2
General characteristics
  • Surfaced: 1,400 t (1,400 long tons; 1,500 short tons)
  • Submerged: 1,500 t (1,500 long tons; 1,700 short tons)
Length: 60.5 m (198 ft 6 in)
Beam: 6.1 m (20 ft 0 in)
Draft: 5.6 m (18 ft 4 in)
  • 2 × Hedemora diesel-electric engines
  • 2 × Kockums v4-275R Sterling AIP units
  • Surfaced: 8 kn (15 km/h; 9.2 mph)
  • Submerged: 15 kn (28 km/h; 17 mph)
Complement: 28
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • 6 × 533 mm (21 in) torpedo tubes for TP-617 heavy-weight torpedoes
  • 3 × 400 mm (16 in) torpedo tubes

The Archer class submarines are the newest class of diesel-electric submarines in active service with the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN). Originally launched as the Swedish Navy Västergötland class submarines HMS Hälsingland and HMS Västergötland in 1986 and 1987, the two submarines were sold to Singapore in November 2005 and relaunched in June 2009 and October 2010 respectively after extensive modernisation by Kockums, which included a refit to Södermanland class standards, the insertion of a new hull section with an air independent propulsion system, and additional climatisation for use in tropical waters.


Singapore's Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) signed an agreement with Kockums for the supply of two Archer class (formerly Västergötland class) submarines to the RSN on 4 November 2005.[1] More than 20 years old and previously in reserve with the Swedish Navy, the submarines will be transferred to the RSN on completion of the modernisation and conversion for operation in tropical waters. RSS Archer was launched on 16 June 2009.[2] RSS Archer has undergone sea trials following its launch and is now operational. The second submarine, RSS Swordsman, was launched on 20 October 2010. The Archer class submarines entered service in 2013 and may replace some of the Challenger class submarines.

Ship name Launched Commissioned Status
RSS Archer (ex-HMS Hälsingland) 16 June 2009 2 December 2011 [3] In active service as of 2013
RSS Swordsman (ex-HMS Västergötland) 20 October 2010 [4] 30 April 2013[5] In active service as of 2013

Design and construction[edit]

The Archer class submarines were designed and built by Kockums AB as single-hull, double compartment submarines optimised to reduce noise and magnetic signature. The two pressure-tight compartments also enhance safety and survivability of the crew. The submarines were designed to operate in the shallow waters of the Baltic Sea and are therefore also optimised for operation in Singapore waters, which have similar depth profiles. The Archer class submarines are also equipped with Stirling AIP engines.[6] This enables the submarines to have longer submerged endurance and lower noise signature, enhancing the stealth capability of the submarines. The advanced sonar system allows the submarines to detect contacts at a further distance, while the torpedo system has a better target acquisition capability, which allows the submarines to engage contacts at a longer range.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Kockums receives Singapore order to two submarines". Kockums. Retrieved 2005-11-19.
  2. ^ "Singapore Navy Launches its First Archer-Class Submarine". Singapore Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 2009-06-16.
  3. ^ "Channel NewsAsia". Channel NewsAsia. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-10-28. Retrieved 2010-10-18.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^>"Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam Commissions RSS Swordsman". 30 April 2013. Archived from the original on 31 January 2014. Retrieved 30 April 2013.
  6. ^ Choong, William (17 June 2009). "New subs not sign of regional arms race". The Straits Times. pp. A21.
  7. ^ Chow, Jermyn (18 June 2009). "Silent Hunter". The Straits Times. pp. B5.

External links[edit]

Video links