To facilitate the RSN’s participation in peace-support missions, DSTA was approached to equip the frigate with a Launch and Recovery System (LARS) to deploy two water craft. With a touch of inspiration, the DSTA team delivered the first unconventional LARS in July 2012 and completed the harbour trial for the second system in February 2013.

With limited space on the frigate, the only viable location to install the LARS was the Surface-to-Surface Missile (SSM) deck. A large section of the bulwark had to be removed for the LARS to launch the craft onto the sea via the side of the vessel. Without this feature, it would compromise the combat capability and stealth of the frigate, forcing the DSTA team to think out of the box for a creative solution.

The team modified the design of a conventional davit successfully, making it compact, collapsible and capable of being launched over the bulwark.

In addition, the team equipped the LARS with both automated and manual operations, making it easier for operators to manoeuvre through the small footprint of the SSM deck. With the automated operation, reliance on the crew’s skills and judgement is reduced. This innovation has enhanced the safety and precision of operators without compromising the stealth and capability of the frigate.