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The Archer Class Submarine

Northern Lights will accord Singapore Navy extended reach and deterrence

Archer Class Submarine

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New Singapore Subs are Made in Sweden

The Swedish Västergötland class submarine. View larger image

The Swedish Västergötland submarine.

The Archer class submarines are the newest class of diesel-electric submarines in the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN). Originally launched as the Swedish Navy Västergöt-land class submarines HMS Hälsingland and HMS Väster-götland in 1986 and 1987, the two submarines were sold to Singapore in November 2005 under a programme named "Northern Lights". They were relaunched in June 2009 and October 2010 as RSS Archer and RSS Swordsman resp.

Fits perfectly

The Västergötland class, now Archer class, was designed and built as single-hull, double compartment submarines with X-type rudders, optimised to reduce noise and magnetic signature. Originally purpo-sed to operate in the shallow waters of the Baltic Sea, the two Archer submarines are ideally suited for operation in Singapore waters, which have similar depth profiles.

The Northern Lights programme

The two submarines have undergone extensive modernisation at Kockums, known as the Northern Lights programme, which has been carried out in close cooperation with the Defence Science & Technology Agency (DSTA) in Singapore. Essentially all measures taken during the corresponding upgrade of the Swedish Södermanland class, have also been implemented on Archer. These modifications include the insertion of a new hull section with an air independent propulsion (AIP) system, and a new climate control system for use in tropical waters. This means that the new Singapore submarines will have longer submerged endurance and lower noise signature than before, enhancing their stealth capability and operational reach con-siderably.

Equipped with an advanced sonar system, the submarines are able to detect contacts at a farther distance; the torpedo system aboard also has a better target acquisition capability, allowing the submarines the ability to engage contacts at a farther range.

Republic of Singapore Navy training with the 1st Submarine Flotilla of the Royal Swedish Navy. View larger image

Crew training with submariners of the Royal Swedish Navy.

Page updated Thursday, October 28, 2010.

Related information

Launching of RSS Swordsman

The launching of RSS Swordsman on October 20, 2010, was officiated by the Minister for Education and 2nd Minister for Defence of the Republic of Singapore, Dr. Ng Eng Hen, and his wife Mrs. Ivy Ng.

The RSS Swordsman was laun-ched at Kockums in Karlskrona on October 20, 2010, with pomp and circumstance.

Read more



RSS Archer on CyberpioneerTV

Lt Cdr Per-Erik Nyström of the Royal Swedish Navy 1st Submarine Flotilla, comments the submarine training carried out with the crew of RSS Archer.

YouTube film-clip about the RSS Archer submarine and its crew in training with the 1st Submarine Flotilla of Royal Swedish Navy in Karlskrona.

Link to YouTube here



Film-clip RSS Archer launching

Kockums CEO, Mr. Jan-Olof Johansson, comments the launching of RSS Archer.

YouTube film-clip from the RSS Archer launching ceremony at Kockums in June 2009.

Link to YouTube here

(available in Swedish only)  



Related submarine types

Read more about related subs on Kockums product pages.

The Södermanland Class

The Challenger Class



Kockums submarine brochure

Download Kockums submarine brochure in pdf format here.

At the leading edge of submarine technology

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