On 15 Mar 2013, the Republic of Singapore Navy Formidable Class Stealth Frigate, RSS Intrepid, sailed into the VivoCity Promenade for the first time – allowing the public to get a glimpse of life aboard the Navy ship that was recently deployed for counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden.
Thanks to the invitation from MINDEF Public Affairs, I was able to experience this exciting and unique event. Not to mentioned getting a tour onboard the RSS Intrepid and understand more about its capabilities.
The itinerary of the tour was outlined as follows:
- Torp Store
- Surface-to-Surface Missile (SSM) Deck
- Accommodation spaces for the crew
- Combat Information Centre (CIC)
- Dining room
Ending back at the Hangar at around 7.00pm for the ceremonial sunset, a naval tradition where the ship’s flags are lowered to the accompaniment of a bugle call and arms drill. I’ve never seen this before so I was looking forward to it!
We meet up with the folks from MINDEF Public Affairs, who invited us, and the Ambassadors (and also our guides) from the Republic of Singapore Navy – Major Lim, Capt Ang and Capt Tang – who would show us around the ship and answer all our questions.
We boarded the RSS Intrepid between the Helipad and Hanger. The tour started with the introduction of the Sikorsky Seahawk S-70B helicopter on the helipad towards the Hanger, Torpedo Store and SSM Deck.
When we reached the Bridge of the Frigate, it was very crowded with other groups from the public – I could understand their reluctance to move away from this area … the view was nice and the place was Airconditioned!!
All the kids love the array of stations with keyboards, displays, joysticks and high chair … they probably thought it was a game station. And the adults couldn’t stop taking pictures!!
Next we proceed below decks to take a look at the Wardroom and the CIC. We had to skip the Dining room and Accommodation space due to slower than expected pace of the tour and we had a sunset to catch!
We next visited the Combat Information Centre (CIC) … this is where we saw how the ship functions and plays a critical role in naval operations. It’s not open to the public and no pictures were allow … so yeah, you will have to take the word from me that it’s impressive! But I can’t say more
Then it’s back to the Helipad at the tail of the RSS Intrepid.
At around 7.15PM, the sunset ceremony began. This is a naval tradition where all the flags and pennants are lowered to the accompaniment of a bugle call and arms drill. Check out the video of this highlight below (just reload the page if the youtube video does not show up):
If you are itching to experience what I experienced above, you will have your chance as I understand that another RSN Stealth Frigate will be opening it’s hatches at the Navy Open House 2013 from 16 to 19 May 2013.