Brunei Darussalam Leases Two Fearless Class Patrol Boats From Singapore

Brunei Darussalam Leases Two Fearless Class Patrol Boats From Singapore

As a prosperous country in Southeast Asia, Brunei Darussalam once donated Badau class patrol boats - KRI Badau 841 and KRI Selawaku 842 to the Indonesian Navy. Even though they were granted without missiles, actually the two British-made patrol boats can be equipped with MM38 Exocet anti-ship missiles. 

However, recently there was news that was a bit surprising, because Brunei Darussalam actually received a patrol boat used by the Singapore Navy. The former patrol ship now used by the Brunei Darussalam Navy is the Fearless class, which was decommissioned by the Singapore Navy in 2019. 

However, don't assume that oil-rich Brunei Darussalam has received a grant, to be precise two units of the Fearless class patrol boats were handed over from Singapore under a lease system, although it is not known how long the lease terms have been agreed upon by the two countries.

As quoted from, the Republic of Singapore Navy announced the handover of two Fearless class patrol boats to the Royal Brunei Navy through a first ship delivery ceremony which was held at Changi Naval Base on 15 March 2023.

The ceremony was attended by the Chief of the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Lieutenant General (LG) Melvyn Ong and the Commander of the Royal Brunei Armed Forces (MG) Major General Dato Paduka Seri Haji Muhammad Haszaimi bin Bol Hassan.

“Today's ceremony marks another important milestone in the close friendship between Singapore and Brunei… The Fearless class has protected the Singapore Strait for more than two decades. I hope these ships will serve the Brunei Navy well, and will enhance Brunei's maritime defense for years to come," said Melvyn Ong.

Operated by the Brunei Darussalam Navy, the Fearless class handed over by Singapore - formerly RSS Gallant and RSS Brave, will be renamed KDB As-Siddiq and KDB Al-Faruq.

The Fearless class is powered by two MTU 12 V 595 TE 90 diesel engines and ZF gear boxes driving 2 × Kamewa Waterjets, making it economically viable at 20 knots and capable of sailing up to 1,900 km away.

The inclusion of a B515 triple tube launcher for the EuroTorp A244/S torpedo in the Fearless Class body makes it ready to carry out underwater warfare. Meanwhile, for close-range defense, there are still 4 M2HB Browning 12.7 mm SMB (heavy machine guns).

Don't forget the OTO Melara 76 mm Super Rapid – the cannon located in the bow of the Fearless class, making the fighting power of this fast ship on par with the SIGMA corvette class canons and the Indonesian Navy's mainstay Van Speijk Class frigates.

Speaking of missiles, initially the Fearless Class was only designed with the Mistral anti-aircraft missile with a Simbad launcher, like on the Van Speijk frigate. But the last six orders, these fast boats are also equipped with Gabriel II anti-ship missiles made by IAI (Israel Aerospace Industries).

Even though it was retired in 2019, the Fearless class is in fact not really retired. Of the 12 units of Fearless Class (1 unit was badly damaged - RSS Courageous on January 3, 2003), there were four units that were refurbished. 

With the refurbish project being run by the Ministry of Defense of Singapore, the Fearless class has changed its name to the Sentinel class. Bearing the name Sentinel class, this old front patrol boat with a new name has received a number of capability improvements. 

In addition to extending operational life, the Sentinel class received a new calibration, including an improved communications system, an improved audio-visual warning system, installation of a fender system and modular ballistic protection.

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