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F221 Hessen at the Kiel Week 2007
F221 Hessen at the Kiel Week 2007
Class overview
Builders: Blohm + Voss
Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft
Nordseewerke
Operators:  German Navy
Preceded by: Lütjens class destroyer
Completed: 3
Active: Sachsen
Hamburg
Hessen
General characteristics
Displacement: 5,690 tonnes
Length: 143.0m
Beam: 17.44m
Draft: 5.0m
Propulsion: CODAG (combined diesel and gas)
2 propeller shafts, controllable pitch propellers
2 MTU V20 diesel engines, 7.4 MW each
1 General Electric LM2500 gas turbine
2 Renk ASM 195 F gearboxes (for the diesel engines)
1 Renk AS 2/290 gearbox (gas turbine and cross connection)
4 1000 kW Deutz 16/628 diesel-generators
Speed: 29 knots
Range: 4,000+ nautical miles at 18 kn (7,400+ km at 33 km/h)
Complement: 230 crew + 13 aircrew
Sensors and
processing systems:
1 Thales Nederland SMART-L long-range air and surface surveillance radar (D band)
1 Thales Nederland APAR air and surface search, tracking and guidance radar (I band)
1 Thales Nederland Sirius IRST long-range infrared surveillance and tracking system (fitted for but not with)
2 STN Atlas 9600-M multi-function I/J band ARPA radars
1 STN Atlas MSP 500 electro-optical fire control system
1 STN Atlas DSQS-24B bow sonar
Electronic warfare
and decoys:
1 FL 1800 S II ECM suite
6 Sippican Hycor SRBOC launcher
Armament: 1 MK. 41 VLS Tactical with 8 cells for 32 RIM-162 ESSM (4 per cell) and 24 SM-2 IIIA surface-to-air missiles
2 RAM launchers with 21 surface-to-air/CIWS-missiles each
2 quadruple Harpoon anti-ship missile launchers
1 OTO-Melara 76 mm dual-purpose gun
2 Mauser MLG 27 27 mm autocannons
2 triple torpedo launchers with EuroTorp MU90 Impact torpedoes
Aircraft carried: 2 Sea Lynx Mk.88A or 2 NH90 helicopters equipped with torpedoes, air-to-surface missiles Sea Skua, and/or heavy machine gun.

The F124 Sachsen class is Germany's latest class of highly advanced air-defense frigates. The design of the Sachsen class frigate is based on that of the F123 Brandenburg class but with enhanced stealth features intended to deceive any opponent's radar and acoustic sensors and incorporate also the advanced multifunction radar APAR as well as the SMART-L long-range radar which is claimed to be capable of detecting stealth aircraft and stealth missiles. Although designated as frigates, they are in capability and size comparable to destroyers.

With 2.1 billion euros for only three ships, this was one of the most expensive ship building programs of the German Navy. They are similar to the Dutch De Zeven Provinciën class frigates. Both the Sachsen class and the De Zeven Provinciën class frigates are based on the use of a common primary anti-air warfare system built around the APAR and SMART-L radars and the area-defence SM-2 IIIA and point-defence Evolved Sea Sparrow surface-to-air missiles.

In June 1996 the German government contracted for three ships with an option on a fourth that was provisionally to have been named as the Thüringen, but the option for this fourth ship was not taken up.

The F124 class frigates are larger and much more capable in all aspects than the Lütjens class destroyers, which they replaced.

Contents

Anti-Air Warfare

These ships were optimized for the anti-air warfare role. For this role the ships are equipped with an advanced sensor and weapons suite. The primary sensors for this role are the long range surveillance radar SMART-L and the multi-function radar APAR. The SMART-L and APAR are highly complimentary, in the sense that SMART-L is a D band radar providing very long range surveillance while APAR is an I band radar providing precise target tracking, a highly capable horizon search capability, and missile guidance using the Interrupted Continuous Wave Illumination (ICWI) technique, thus allowing guidance of 32 semi-active radar homing missiles in flight simultaneously, including 16 in the terminal guidance phase[1]. The primary anti-air weapons are the point defence Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile and the area defence SM-2 IIIA.

Missiles

The ship's medium and long-range anti-air missiles are the Raytheon Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile and the SM-2 IIIA, which are fired from a VLS Mk-41 32-cell launcher. SGS Sachsen successfully completed firing trials with ESSM and SM-2 in July / August 2004.

The F124 has two Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) Mk-31 launchers and two four-cell Harpoon missile launchers. The RAM missile from Raytheon and RAM Systems GmbH, is a fire-and-forget missile which provides short-range defense against incoming anti-ship missiles including sea-skimming missiles. The Boeing Harpoon is an autonomous all-weather anti-ship missile with range in excess of 65 nautical miles.

Guns

The F124 is equipped with an Oto Melara 76mm gun, and two Rheinmetall MLG 27 remote controlled autocannons.

A KMW PzH 2000 howitzer turret with a 155mm gun has been mounted on the deck of FGS Hamburg (F220) as a demonstration of the feasibility of the system for naval applications. The concept is called MONARC and requires a flexible elastic mounting. MONARC has a range of 22nm. Live fire trials were conducted in September 2003.[2]

Sensor suite

The radars include the Thales Nederland SMART-L long-range surveillance radar, the Thales Nederland APAR multi-function radar, and two STN Atlas 9600-M ARPA navigation radars.

The ship is also equipped with the Thales Nederland Sirius IRST long-range infra-red surveillance and tracking sensor. The STN Atlas MSP 500 electro-optical fire control system provides target acquisition and tracking for the main gun. The bow sonar is the STN Atlas Elektronik DSQS-24B.

Propulsion

The F124 is equipped with a combined diesel and gas propulsion system, CODAG. The two operating shafts work independently. The diesel engines are installed in a non-walkable sound-proof capsule. The shafts drive two five-bladed controllable pitch propellers.

In diesel mode, one of the diesel engines (type MTU 20V 1163 TB93) is operated via two main gearboxes and one cross-connection gearbox. The peak performance of the diesel provides 7,400 kW at 1,350 rpm.

The ship has an operating range of 4,000 nm at a cruising speed of 18 kt in diesel mode.

In gas turbine mode, the gas turbine (model GE7 LM2500 PF/MLG) provides 23,500 kW and 3,600 rpm, operating two main gearboxes and the cross-connection gearbox.

In combined diesel and gas propulsion mode (CODAG-mode), both diesel engines and the gas turbine engine are operated. The maximum speed of the ship is 29 kt.

Helicopter

The flight deck and hangar accommodate two NH90 helicopters. The flight deck is rated to accommodate a 15t class helicopter such as the Merlin, for fuelling and torpedo loading. The helicopter handling system from MBB-Förder und Hebesysteme uses laser guided and computer controlled manipulator arms to secure the helicopter after landing.

Counter Measures

The ship's electronic countermeasures suite includes an EADS Systems and Defence Electronics FL1800 SII ECM system and six Sippican Hycor SuperRBOC launchers which fire chaff and flares. Electronic support measures are provided by EADS Systems and Defence Electronics Maigret CESM (Communications ESM).

Live Missile Firings

In August 2004, the Sachsen completed a series of live missile firings at the Point Mugu missile launch range off the coast of California that included a total of 11 ESSM and 10 SM-2 Block IIIA missiles[1]. The tests included firings against target drones such as the Northrup Grumman BQM-74E Chukkar III and Teledyne Ryan BQM-34S Firebee I, as well as against missile targets such as the Beech AQM-37C and air-launched Kormoran 1 anti-ship missiles[1].

List of ships

Pennant
number
Name Call
sign
Shipyard Laid down Launched Delivered Com-
missioned
F219 Sachsen DRAA Blohm + Voss February 1, 1999 January 20, 2001 November 29, 2002 December 31, 2003
F220 Hamburg DRAB HDW September 1, 2000 August 16, 2002 September 2004 December 13, 2004
F221 Hessen DRAC Nordseewerke September 14, 2001 July 26, 2003 December 7, 2005 April 21, 2006
(F222) Thüringen option not taken-up

All three vessels form part of the 2. Fregattengeschwader (2nd Frigate Squadron) based in Wilhelmshaven.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c Jane's Navy International, October 2005, "Live firing tests rewrite the guiding principles"
  2. ^ http://www.rheinmetall-defence.com/index.php?lang=3&fid=2675 Following successful tests, sea trials now planned

External links

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