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Singapore MoD creates new Maritime Security and Response Flotilla MSRF.

| 2021

According to a statement published by the Singapore Ministry of Defense (MoD), Singapore has created a new Maritime Security and Response Flotilla (MSRF) that will have the same missions as the Coast Guard in other countries.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 The ships for the new Singapore Maritime Security and Response Flotilla MSRF. (Picture source Singapore MoD)

The launch of the new Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN)'s Maritime and Security Response Flotilla (MSRF) was attended by the Chief of Navy Rear-Admiral Aaron Beng at RSS Singapura, Changi Naval Base, in January 2021.

The new flotilla will add capacity and build capabilities to protect Singapore's territorial waters and respond to expanded maritime security threats. The MSRF will be equipped with new purpose-built ships. As a start, the flotilla will operate four Sentinel-class Maritime Security and Response Vessels (MSRVs) and two Maritime Security and Response Tugboats (MSRTs) to enable more calibrated responses.

Commander of the MSRF, Lieutenant Colonel Lee Jun Meng, said, "The MSRF will strengthen Singapore's ability to deal with maritime security threats that have grown in scale and complexity through the years. The additional capabilities will provide us with more flexibility and a wider range of responses, and allow us to be deployed for greater persistence to safeguard and protect Singapore's territorial waters."

Also present at the inauguration ceremony were senior RSN officers and representatives from other national maritime agencies.

The MSRF will be responsible to develop and operate calibrated capabilities to provide the Singapore government and Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) with more options to respond to maritime incidents. The capabilities raised by the MSRF will provide flexibility to meet the increased demands and a wider scope of maritime security operations, and offer greater persistence to protect Singapore's territorial waters. The MSRF will form an important part of the restructured Maritime Security Command.

The MSRF will operate new purpose-built vessels from 2026. As a start, the flotilla will operate four Sentinel-class Maritime Security and Response Vessels (MSRVs). It will also operate two Maritime Security and Response Tugboats (MSRTs). In line with other international maritime security agencies, these vessels will all bear red "racing" stripes on their bow.

Four ex-Fearless class patrol vessels have been refurbished as the Sentinel-class MSRVs. In addition to refitting the vessels to extend their operational lifespan, the Sentinel-class MSRVs will be installed with a range of calibrated capabilities. This includes enhanced communications equipment, improved visual and audio warning systems, installation of a fender system and modular ballistics protection.

MSRV Sentinel and MSRV Guardian will enter into operational service today, while MSRV Protector and MSRV Bastion will be refurbished and operationalized in the coming months.

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