December 23, 2016 – The morning was dark and cloudy, coupled with a light drizzle. Undaunted, the project team and event organisers diligently carried out the final checks for the Launching Ceremony of the third Littoral Mission Vessel (LMV), Unity. Interestingly, in tandem with this major milestone that was happening, the skies soon cleared and the sun shone brilliantly through the clouds. With the weather cleared and the preparations falling in place, ST Marine was all set to hold the Launching Ceremony as scheduled.
The Launching Ceremony held on 13 October 2016, was officiated by Mr Ong Ye Kung, Acting Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) and Senior Minister of State for Defence1. Mrs Diana Ong, wife of Mr Ong, launched the vessel after the naming proclamation and the naval tradition of smashing the champagne over Unity’s bow. This commemorated yet another significant milestone in the vessel’s construction phase.
Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Lim Ah Doo (Chairman, ST Marine) shared that there is a need to stay ahead of competition with the increasingly complex and challenging maritime security landscape. This was further reinforced by Mr Ong, who highlighted in his speech, the significance of the vessel’s name, Unity, as a reminder to stay together despite the challenges faced as a country. Staying in unity is Singapore’s strongest defence against any form of attacks.
Akin to the weather on this day, the fruits of the labour was celebrated as ST Marine, the Republic of Singapore Navy, and the Defence Science and Technology Agency come together in unity to deliver the LMV despite the many challenges encountered during the engineering and construction phases.
The ceremony was also attended by the Chief of Navy, Rear-Admiral Lai Chung Han and other distinguished guests. Currently, the first and second LMVs, Independence and Sovereignty are undergoing trials, with Independence expected to be fully operational by the first half of 2017.