France’s Naval Group to provide mid-life upgrade for Singapore navy frigates

Paris-based shipbuilding conglomerate Naval Group signed a contract with ST Engineering Marine Ltd for the mid-life upgrade of the Formidable-class frigates for Singapore’s navy, the company announced in a press release Thursday.

The two companies will be continuing the partnership started in 2000 with the frigates construction program, it said in a statement on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“Naval Group has a deep understanding of the Formidable frigates, as the Group has built the first vessel in the Formidable-class series on the Lorient shipyard in France,” the press release read.

“The other five were built locally by the ST Engineering shipyard, in accordance with the major transfer of technology agreement, a testimony of the strong partnership between the two companies,” it added.

The company also said that through this contract signed with ST Engineering Marine Ltd, “Naval Group is proud to continue its cooperation with our partner, to serve the Singapore Navy.”

To achieve the current project, Naval Group will work with Naval Group Far East, its subsidiary in Singapore who is “already supporting the Singaporean Navy and ST Engineering in project management, maintenance and supply chain.”

Naval Group Far East, established in 2005 as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Naval Group, emerged after supplying the Formidable frigates to the Singaporean navy. It consists of a workforce of 50 experts specializing in project management, maintenance, logistics, and supply chain assistance.

Beyond its initial role in supporting the maintenance program for the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN)'s Formidable-class frigates, Naval Group Far East has broadened its scope. This expansion encompasses new services centered on coastal maritime security, as well as providing support for French Navy operations in the area. Additionally, there's a strong emphasis on innovation through the Naval Group Singaporean Center of Excellence.

The Southeast Asian nation has taken a significant step in navy modernization efforts amid escalating tensions in South China Sea.

Most recently, the last of four Invincible-class (Type 218SG) air-independent propulsion (AIP)-equipped diesel-electric submarines (SSK) ordered by the RSN has been launched by the German shipbuilder thyssenkrupp Marine Systems (tkMS).

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