Tank landing ships



The Singapore Armed Forces’ tank landing ships, or landing ships, tank (LSTs) in military nomenclature, are often described as the workhorses of the army. This is because they are transport ships capable of carrying tanks, helicopters as well as troops and their equipment to overseas training areas. The Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) launched the first of its new class of LSTs, known as the Endurance class, in 1998.1

Endurance class
The Endurance-class LSTs were fully designed and built in Singapore. Then-Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Tony Tan officiated the launch of the first vessel, the RSS Endurance, on 14 March 1998.2 The navy uses the LSTs for training cruises as well as for peacetime rescue and relief efforts.3 The other three LSTs in the Endurance class are the RSS Resolution, the RSS Persistence and the RSS Endeavour.4


History
Tan revealed the RSN’s intention to purchase the LSTs during his visit to the Tuas Naval Base on 3 August 1996. These ships were to replace the five former American County-class LSTs, which had been acquired by Singapore in the 1970s.5

Local company Singapore Technologies Marine designed and built the four new Endurance-class LSTs.6 Construction of the Endurance began in early 1997, with the keel laid down at Singapore Technologies Marine’s Benoi Yard on 27 March that year.7

Description
The 6,000-tonne RSS Endurance is about 141 m in length and has a maximum speed of 15 knots.8 Sixty-five personnel man the ship.9 Each ship is outfitted with cranes, navigational and communications equipment, and naval guns with gun-firing control systems. The latter is capable of sector search, acquisition, auto-track and gun control against surface and air targets.10

Propulsion is provided by two Ruston 16RK270 medium-speed diesel engines driving two Kamewa controllable pitch propellers. The ship’s range is in excess of 5,000 nautical miles at a cruising speed of 15 knots.11

The third and fourth LSTs – RSS Persistence and RSS Endeavour – enhances the RSN’s capabilities in meeting its operational demands. Compared with the old County-class LSTs, the locally designed and built Endurance-class LSTs can carry double the load, travel at almost twice the speed with only half the manpower required.12

On 18 March 2000, the RSS Endurance and RSS Resolution were commissioned into the RSN’s 3rd Flotilla’s 191 Squadron at the Tuas Naval Base.13 The commissioning of the RSS Persistence and RSS Endeavour took place on 7 April 2001 at the same location.14

Notable achievements
The RSS Endurance is the first RSN vessel to circumnavigate the globe and to sail through both the Suez and Panama canals. The ship left Singapore on 5 May 2000 and called at nine ports in the United States, Mexico, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Egypt and Saudi Arabia during its four-month voyage.15

The RSS Endurance participated in the US Navy’s International Naval Review 2000, which was held in New York to celebrate America’s Independence Day. Visitors were entertained to the beat of lion dances.16

The RSS Resolution was the lead ship of a fleet of 36 vessels that together stretched over 5 km at the Singapore National Day Maritime Review held on 9 August 2000. Other participating vessels included missile gunboats, mine-countermeasure vessels and coastal-patrol craft.17

During CARAT (Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training) 2000, a joint navy exercise between the Singapore and United States Navy, a Mistral surface-to-air missile was fired from the RSS Resolution on 19 September 2000.18



Author

Peter Pak



References
1. Navy launches its largest ship. (1998, March 15). The Straits Times, p. 3. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
2. Navy launches its largest ship. (1998, March 15). The Straits Times, p. 3. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
3. Ministry of Defence. (2001, April 7). Commissioning of RSS Persistence and RSS Endeavour [Press release]. Retrieved 2017, April 18 from Ministry of Defence website: https://www.mindef.gov.sg/imindef/press_room/official_releases/nr/2001/apr/07apr01_nr.html
4. Ministry of Defence. (2017, April 30). Endurance-class landing ships tank. Retrieved 2017, May 29 from Ministry of Defence website: https://www.mindef.gov.sg/navy/Endurance_class_Landing_Ship_Tank.HTM
5. Lee, T. (1996, August 3). RSN to buy four new supply ships. The Straits Times, p. 2. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
6. Navy launches its largest ship. (1998, March 15). The Straits Times, p. 3. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
7. Naval Technology. (n.d.). Endurance Class Landing Ship Tank (LST), Singapore. Retrieved 2017, May 29 from Naval Technology website: http://www.naval-technology.com/projects/endurance-class-landing-ship-tank-lst/
8. Navy launches its largest ship. (1998, March 15). The Straits Times, p. 3. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Ministry of Defence. (2017, April 30). Endurance-class landing ships tank. Retrieved 2017, April 18 from Ministry of Defence website: https://www.mindef.gov.sg/navy/Endurance_class_Landing_Ship_Tank.HTM
9. Navy launches its largest ship. (1998, March 15). The Straits Times, p. 3. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
10. Forecast International. (2002, July). Endurance class. Retrieved 2017, May 29 from Forecast International website: https://www.forecastinternational.com/archive/disp_old_pdf.cfm?ARC_ID=1729
11. Page 14 advertisements column 1. (1998, March 14). The Straits Times, p. 14. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
12. Ministry of Defence. (2001, April 7). Commissioning of RSS Persistence and RSS Endeavour [Press release]. Retrieved 2017, April 18 from Ministry of Defence website: https://www.mindef.gov.sg/imindef/press_room/official_releases/nr/2001/apr/07apr01_nr.html
13. Ministry of Defence. (2000, March 18). Speech by Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam, deputy prime minister & minister for defence, on the occasion of the commissioning ceremony for the RSN Landing Ship Tank, RSS Endurance and RSS Resolution at Tuas Naval Base [Press Release]. Retrieved 2017, April 18 from Ministry of Defence website: https://www.mindef.gov.sg/imindef/press_room/official_releases/nr/2000/mar/18mar00_nr/18mar00_speech.html
14. Ministry of Defence. (2001, April 7). Speech by Chief of Navy, Rear-Admiral Lui Tuck Yew, at the commissioning ceremony of RSS Persistence and RSS Endeavour held on Sat, 7 Apr 2001 at 1130 hrs at Tuas Naval Base [Press Release]. Retrieved 2017, April 18 from Ministry of Defence website: https://www.mindef.gov.sg/imindef/press_room/official_releases/nr/2001/apr/07apr01_nr/07apr01_speech.html
15. Around the world in 120 days. (2000, September 3). The Straits Times, p. 41. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
16. S'pore ship part of US sea extravaganza. (2000, July 5). The Straits Times, p. 3. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
17. Catch these sea-borne beauties. (2000, August 8). The Straits Times, p. 32. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
18. Carat 2000 exercises begin. (2000, September 9). The Straits Times, p. 77. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.



Further resources
Bigger, faster RSS Persistence unveiled. (1999, March 14). The Straits Times, p. 2. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.

Koh, B. P. (1999, September 28). Second S’pore ship sets sail. The Straits Times, p. 27. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.

Lee, S. H. (2000, July 5). S’pore ship part of US sea extravaganza. The Straits Times, p. 3. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.

Navy launches four new ‘made in Singapore’ ships. (2000, February 13). The Straits Times, p. 25. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.

Siti Andrianie. (2000, August 7). A close look at life on board the RSS Resolution. The Straits Times, p. 39. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.



The information in this article is valid as at 2017 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.

Subject
Landing craft--Singapore
National defence
Politics and Government>>National Security>>Defence
Science and technology>>Engineering>>Military engineering
Transportation, Military--Singapore