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German record submarine for Singapore christened at TKMS

While the future of Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems remains unclear, the shipbuilder is working through its order book. The latest project: a submarine for Singapore.

Today, the fourth submarine in the Type 218SG construction program was christened at the shipyard in Kiel[ds_preview].

The 250 invited guests included Boris Pistorius, Federal Minister of Defense, and Teo Chee Hean, Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister of the Republic of Singapore, as well as other high-ranking representatives from Singapore and Germany. The boat’s godmother was Ms. Teo Swee Lian, sister of Teo Chee Hean.

Oliver Burkhard, CEO of the shipyard, whose future ownership has been the subject of intense debate for some time, emphasised: “The submarines built in this project are the most modern conventional submarines the world has ever seen. They belong to a new, ultra-modern generation and are also the largest submarines built in Germany.”

The design of the type 218SG submarines is based on a low signature. The air-independent propulsion system is intended to enable them to remain underwater for longer. With a length of around 70 m and a displacement of around 2,000 tons, they are currently the largest submarines ever built by Marine Systems.

Cooperation for submarines is being expanded

Singapore initially ordered two submarines from Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems in 2013 for around €1.7bn. This was followed by an order for two more boats in 2016. They are to replace four older Swedish-built naval units in Singapore. The navy of the city-state on the Strait of Malacca acquired its first submarines 20 years ago. The reason for this is the rearmament in China.

After the “Invincible” in 2019 and the double christening of the “Impeccable” and “Illustrious” in December 2022, the fourth boat has now been christened. The “Inimitable” is to be handed over in 2025 after intensive trials.

Following the christening, TKMS and ST Engineering signed a cooperation agreement to jointly improve the capabilities of the four Type 218 SG submarines throughout their service life. This agreement extends the one signed in December 2022 and includes cooperation on selected projects in the areas of additive manufacturing (3D printing), maintenance training, data analysis and obsolescence management.

Technical details of the “Invincible” class

  • Length: 70 m
  • Water displacement at the surface: 2,000 t
  • Displacement at depth: 2,200 tons
  • Speed on the surface: more than 10 knots
  • Speed at depth: more than 15 kn
  • Equipment: 8 torpedo tubes
  • Crew: 28 crew members
TKMS, ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems, Kiel, Taufe, Singapur, U-Boot, Inimitable
The “Inimitable” at her christening in Kiel (© TKMS / Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems)

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Copyright: Axel Heimken/ TKMS / Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems

Caption: The "Inimitable" at her christening in Kiel (© TKMS / Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems)