Monday, 20 April 2015

Second German Type F125 Frigate Named

Type F125 Building Programme Maintains High Tempo

The frigate "Nordrhein-Westfalen" (F 223) is scheduled to be handed over to the BAAINBw defence procurement agency in mid-2018. 
(All photos: Stefan Nitschke)
On 16 April 2015, the christening ceremony of the second F125 frigate “Nordrhein-Westfalen” (F 223) appeared at Blohm+Voss Shipyards in Hamburg. Mrs. Hannelore Kraft, Premier of the German state of Northrhine-Westphalia, after which the ship was named, performed the christening ceremony.
ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS), a company of ThyssenKrupp Industrial Solutions AG, heads the ARGE F125 consortium that was awarded the contract in 2007 to build four F125 frigates for the German Navy. According to TKMS, the contract for the four frigates is worth around two billion euros in total. The ARGE F125 consortium also includes Fr. Lürssen Shipyard at its two shipyards in Bremen and Wolgast (Peene-Werft), which is building the ships in cooperation with Blohm+Voss Shipyards.
The other two frigates will be named “Sachsen-Anhalt” (F 224) and “Rheinland-Pfalz” (F 225). The forcastle of the third frigate was also seen at Blohm + Voss Shipyards.

Premier Hannelore Kraft: “It makes me proud that this ship will carry the name of our federal state across the world’s oceans, mooring at many ports as an ambassador for North Rhine-Westphalia. The state government will be pleased to take the opportunity together with the crew of this ship to represent and present our state.”

Dr. Hans Christoph Atzpodien, CEO of ThyssenKrupp Industrial Solutions AG and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems GmbH: “The F125 class is a completely new type of ship with innovations across numerous fields of technology. It showcases our leading engineering expertise and points the way forward for German naval shipbuilding.”

The new frigate is capable of remaining at sea for 24 months, representing the first realisation of the intensive use concept allowing longer deployments in international stabilisation, peacekeeping, and counter-terrorism missions. This capability is supported by a reduced crew of 120. The two-crew strategy allows a complete change of the crew during deployment. An important design characteristic of the Type F125 frigate is that the ship will be able to support up to 50 Special Forces. There will be adequate space to accommodate two MH90 helicopters and two armed Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIBs). The latter are being manufactured by Fr. Fassmer Werft. 
The Joint Einsatzsystem Team (JET) F125 industrial consortium (consisting of TKMS and ATLAS Elektronik GmbH) is responsible for the ship's combat system. It is the ATLAS Naval Combat System (ANCS), which is a modern open-architecture and distributed-architecture computer system designed to provide a clear and automated tactical picture from all ship sensors, while coordinating defensive responses. In addition to these standard tasks, ANCS integrates an onshore tactical picture and artillery weapons control system. This will allow the Type F125 frigates to conduct more sophisticated on-shore surveillance and engage land-based targets in coordination with Army units. ANCS will join the ATLAS Tactical Data Link System (ADLiS) on-board the frigates. ALDiS allows the ship to use a variety of data-links to share what it sees with German and allied forces, including the key NATO standards Link 11, Link 16, and Link 22. Aeromaritime Systembau GmbH delivers specialised antennas. Armament includes OTO Melara’s 127/64 LW (Lightweight) naval gun that is able to fire VULCANO fin-stabilised, sub-calibre, extended range projectiles over a distance of over 62nm (115km) against land targets. The fully autonomous, inertially guided round is equipped with a Semi-Active Laser (SAL) terminal guidance system provided by OTO Melara’s joint venture partner Diehl Defence.
The ship’s CODELAG (Combined Diesel Electric And Gas turbine) hybrid propulsion system is a combination of a GE LM 2500 gas turbine with a power output of 20,000kW with two 4,500kW electric motors using a main gear unit on the port side and starboard side (both interconnected by a cross-connect gear). This will enable the ship to conduct missions extending up to 24 months without any embarkation. The GE LM 2500 gas turbine can be activated to take the frigates up to a speed of 26 knots. The ship’s extremely low-vibration, heavy-duty gearbox will be supplied by RENK AG. With this propulsion concept, slow and cruising speeds can be achieved by utilising the electric motors and for full speed, additional power will be supplied by the gas turbine.

Also seen at Blohm+Voss Shipyards in Hamburg: the first-of-class Type F125 frigate "Baden-Württemberg" (F 222). Her principal sensor is the TRS-4D/NR (Non Rotating) phased array radar originally developed by CASSIDIAN (now Airbus Defence and Space) that is a fixed, active electronically-scanned array (AESA) radar, replacing the rotating TRS-3D variant that is already in use with several foreign Navies, including the German Navy.

On each F125 vessel, four MTU 20V 4000 M53B diesel engines and generators offer 3,015kW/4,100hp each, producing a total of 12,060kW/16,400hp for the ship’s on-board power supply system and providing diesel-electric propulsion power for cruising speeds of up to 20 knots. These engines only require major overhaul after 24,000 operating hours. MTU is acting as the overall integrator, with Siemens Marine & Shipbuilding handling related control systems. Siemens’ products will be related to its SINAVY product line, including the electrical propulsion system, which consists of two 4.5MW electric motors with the associated converters, the electronic control unit, and the medium-voltage switchgear. For control and monitoring purposes, an integrated control and automation system for on-board ship equipment (ILASST) will be installed, including a Battle Damage Control System (BDCS) and an on-board training system (OBTS).
At-sea testing of the CASSIDIAN-developed (now Airbus Defence and Space) TRS-4D/NR AESA (Active Electronically Scanned Array) radar in the North Sea and Baltic Sea, as well as during factory acceptance tests showed an extraordinarily high precision, detecting small targets such as unmanned aircraft, guided missiles, and periscopes. Each Type F125 frigate will be equipped with four fixed arrays.

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