China Attempts to Punish Singapore

thaicanal

Well, I already have four posts with many comments tracking China as they attempt to bully the Philippines, Japan, Vietnam, and Indonesia.

Now it seems it is time for one to track China’s attempts to Bully Singapore.

This post from the Independent, is about a proposed canal across the isthmusΒ of Thailand, but if you read down to the second half of the post, you’ll see it is really about Chinese displeasure because Prime Minister Lee of Singapore has been standing up for a rules based international order rather than one based on force.

Singapore Builds “Cutter X”

SingaporeLittoralMissionVesselPortBow

Singapore is building a new class of patrol vessels that look very much like my proposal for “Cutter X”, trading some Webber class and some larger ships for an intermediate design, costing about half what an OPC would cost, basically putting the equipment and crew (with some augmentation) of a Webber Class into a larger more seaworthy hull, to allow them to be used for extended operation in environments that do not require the ice strengthened hull and ability to launch and recover helicopters and boats in sea state five provided by the OPC.

Singapore is building eight of the ships under the project name “Littoral Missions Vessel” to replace eleven smaller, 500 ton, Fearless class patrol vessels that are approaching 20 years old. These ships are reportedly 80 meters in length (262.5 feet), displace 1200 tons (probably a light displacement), have a beam of 12 meters (39.4 feet), a range of 5,000 nautical miles at 15 knots, and a speed of 27 knots, all with a crew of only 30, though they do include additional accommodations for 30 more. (more here)

SingaporeLittoralMissionVesselPortQuarter

It appears these ships will use the same engines as the Webber Class. It is not clear how many of these engines they are using. Two would give them almost 12,000 HP which would almost certainly be good for at least 24 knots, but it might require three or four engines to make 27 knots.Β  (reports now indicate the class has two engines totallin about 12,000 HP)

In some respects these ships are more capable than the proposed cutter, in that they will have a 76mm gun and firecontrol system, in addition to smaller remotely operated weapons. It also appears to have space reserved for a small AAW missile system. On the other hand, while the flight deck can handle an H-60, the ship, unlike the French L’Adroit which was my model for “cutter X”, has no helicopter hangar, although it might be possible to add one using the same solution employed on L’Adroit (putting it under the bridge).

Soon, I expect to do an update of the “Cutter X” proposal, based on where we are now in the cutter recapitalization program.