Braunschweig-class corvette

The K130 Braunschweig class (sometimes Korvette 130) is Germany's newest class of ocean-going corvettes. Five ships have replaced the Gepard-class fast attack craft of the German Navy.

F264 Ludwigshafen am Rhein, headed down the River Clyde for the start of Exercise Joint Warrior 16-2, 2016
Class overview
Operators:  German Navy
Preceded by: Gepard class
Cost:
  • €240 million per ship (Batch 1)
  • €400 million per ship (Batch 2)
Built: 2004present
In commission: 2008present
Planned: 10
Building: 2
Completed: 5
Active: 5
General characteristics
Type: Corvette
Displacement: 1,840 tonnes (1,810 long tons)
Length: 89.12 m (292 ft 5 in)
Beam: 13.28 m (43 ft 7 in)
Draft: 3.4 m (11 ft 2 in)
Propulsion: 2 MTU 20V 1163 TB 93 diesel engines producing 14.8MW, driving two controllable-pitch propellers.
Speed: 26 knots (48 km/h; 30 mph)
Range: 4,000 nmi (7,400 km) at 15 kn (28 km/h; 17 mph)[1]
Endurance: 7 days; 21 days with tender[2]
Complement: 65 : 1 commander, 10 officers, 16 chief petty officers, 38 enlisted
Sensors and
processing systems:
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
Armament:
Aircraft carried: Helicopter pad and hangar for two Camcopter S-100

In October 2016 it was announced that a second batch of five more corvettes is to be procured from 2022–25.[4] The decision was in response to NATO requirements expecting Germany to provide a total of four corvettes at the highest readiness level for littoral operations by 2018, and with only five corvettes just two can be provided.[5]

Technical details

They feature reduced radar and infra-red signatures ("stealth" beyond the Sachsen-class frigates) and will be equipped with two helicopter UAVs for remote sensing. Recently, the German Navy ordered a first batch of 2 UMS Skeldar V-200 UAVs for the use on the Braunschweig-class corvettes.[6] The hangar is too small for standard helicopters, but the pad is large enough for Sea Kings, Lynx or NH-90s, the helicopters of the German Navy.

Originally the K130 class was supposed to be armed with the naval version of the Polyphem missile, an optical fiber-guided missile with a range of 60 kilometres (37 mi), which at the time was under development. The Polyphem program was canceled in 2003 and instead the designers chose to equip the class with the RBS-15. While the RBS-15 has a much greater range —250 kilometres (160 mi)—, the current version mounted on the ships, Mk3, lacks the ECM-resistant video feedback of the Polyphem. The German Navy has ordered the RBS-15 Mk4 in advance, which will be a future development of the Mk3 with increased range —400 kilometres (250 mi)— and a dual seeker for increased resistance to electronic countermeasures.[7] The RBS-15 Mk3 has the capability to engage land targets.[8]

Difficulty of classification

Vessels of this class do not have an executive officer (German: Erster Offizier). Traditionally, in the German Navy this was used as a rule to classify a vessel as a boat, not a ship. In a press release the German Navy states that these corvettes will be called ships nonetheless because of their size, armament and endurance.[9] The commanding officer wields the same disciplinary power as a German Army company commander, not that of a battalion commander as is the case with the larger German warships such as frigates.[10] However, in size, armament, protection and role these corvettes resemble modern anti-surface warfare (ASuW) frigates, the main difference being the total absence of any anti-submarine warfare (ASW) related sensors or weapons.

Contracting

The contract for first five ships was awarded in December 2001 Blohm+Voss, at that time owned by ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems, Nordseewerke, and Friedrich Lurssen Werft. The first ship, the Braunshweig, built at Blohm+Voss, was launched in April 2006 and was commissioned in April 2008. The second ship was commissioned in 2008.[11] The third three ships were commissioned in 2013.[12] Severe problems with the gearing provided by MAAG GmbH of Winterthur, Switzerland delayed the commissioning of the corvettes. Further issues occurred with the air conditioning system and exposure to toxins from exhaust and missile systems.[13]

In May 2015, the Israeli Government ordered four Sa'ar 6-class corvettes, whose design by ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems will be loosely based on that of the Braunschweig-class corvette,[14] but with engineering changes to render the baseline platform more militarily robust.[15]

In April 2017 the German government announced a contract for a further five ships to the same group as before, but the process under which it had been awarded was challenged at the German Federal Cartel Office by the German Naval Yards and the contract was voided in May.[16][17]

In September 2017, the German Navy commissioned the construction of five more corvettes in a consortium of North German shipyards. Lürssen will be the main contractor in the production of the vessels. The contract is worth around 2 billion euros.[17][18] In April 2018 the German government announced that the specific arrangements under which the five new K130s would be built.[19][20]

Ships in class

The ships were not built at a single shipyard; sections were constructed at different locations at the same time and later married together. The table lists the yard where the keel-laying ceremonies were held. Due to the decommissioning of the Gepard class five are additionally planned to be constructed from 2019–23.[21]

Pennant
number
Name Shipyard Laid down Launched Commissioned Status
Batch 1
F260BraunschweigBlohm + Voss3 December 200419 April 200616 April 2008In active service
F261MagdeburgLürssen-Werft19 May 20056 September 200622 September 2008In active service
F262ErfurtNordseewerke22 September 200529 March 200728 February 2013In active service
F263OldenburgBlohm + Voss19 January 200628 June 200721 January 2013In active service
F264Ludwigshafen am RheinLürssen-Werft14 April 200626 September 200721 March 2013In active service
Batch 2
F265KölnLürssen-Werft25 April 2019November 2022Under construction
FEmdenLürssen-WerftUnder construction
FKarlsruhe
FAugsburg
FLübeckDecember 20202025

Images

See also

References

  1. "Corvette Braunschweig Handed Over" (Press release). ThyssenKrupp AG. 30 January 2008. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
  2. "Korvette "Braunschweig"-Klasse (K 130)" (in German). German Navy. Retrieved 7 October 2015.
  3. "K130 Braunschweig Class Corvette - German Navy". Navyr ecognition. Retrieved 7 October 2015.
  4. "Fünf neue Korvetten für die Bundeswehr", Faz.
  5. "German Navy to Get Five More K130 Braunschweig-class Corvettes", Navy recognition, 14 November 2016.
  6. BAAINBw Procures New Helicopter Drones for the Navy, Baainbw, 27 September 2018, retrieved 2 March 2019.
  7. "de:Neue Aufgaben der Marine mit moderner Ausrüstung" (in German). German Navy. 17 May 2004. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
  8. German Navy K130 Corvettes Ready for Saab RBS-15 Mk3 Anti-Ship Missiles, Navy recognition, 8 June 2016.
  9. Struckhof, Detlef (22 January 2009). "Warum Korvetten Schiffe und keine Boote sind" [Why corvettes are ships and not boats] (in German). Presse- und Informationszentrum Marine. Retrieved 3 February 2010.
  10. "Wehrdisziplinarordnung (WDO)" (in German). German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
  11. "K130 Braunschweig Class Corvette". Naval Technology. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  12. "K130 Braunschweig class". Navy Recognition. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
  13. "Milliardenprojekt Korvette 130: Pannenserie reißt nicht ab - Marineinspekteur fordert schärfere Kontrolle". Norddeutcher Rundfunk via PressPortal (in German). 20 June 2011. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
  14. Azulai, Yuval (11 May 2015). "Israel signs €430m deal for German patrol vessels". Globes. Archived from the original on 13 May 2015. Retrieved 14 May 2015.
  15. Israeli Navy Marks Milestones at German Shipyards, By: Barbara Opall-Rome, August 4, 2016
  16. "Germany's K130 corvette construction award violates public procurement law, says tribunal - Naval Technology". Naval Technology. 21 May 2017.
  17. "Germany awards €2.4bln contract for five new K130 corvettes". Naval Today.
  18. Kopp, Martin (13 September 2017). "Riesenauftrag von Bundeswehr: Blohm+Voss auf Jahre gerettet" (in German). Hamburger Abendblatt.
  19. "Four Shipyards Agree to Build New German Corvettes". www.defense-aerospace.com. April 9, 2018.
  20. "Wie Blohm+Voss vom Bau neuer Korvetten profitiert". Hamburger Abendblatt (in German). 6 April 2018.
  21. "Bundeswehr soll neue Korvetten bekommen", N-TV (in German).
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