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  • Originally posted by kato View Post
    The 20 kW laser demonstrator instead of the MLG mount uses a containerized solution. Rheinmetall provides the entire hardware, MBDA takes care of the operator console and integration with CMS.

    The system was installed on Sachsen last month and did a first test run in the Flensburg bay against shore targets from late June to early July. And yes, the project name on that shield is "TARDIS".
    So its bigger on the inside.



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    • The first of the three new large multipurpose ships for the German Coastguard has been launched in Lithuania and was transferred to a German shipyard for final outfitting in August, already in full livery:

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      During transfer in the Kiel canal.


      These ships are internationally classified as "emergency response towing vessel". It's a concept mostly pursued in European coastguards. At 105m length and around 7000 tons full load these new German ships will be the largest such ships worldwide though.

      Within the German maritime emergency response concept these ships - like their predecessors currently - are intended to:
      • be stationed at sea semi-permanently (moving to semi-fixed ready positions in case of storms)
      • respond to maritime emergencies anywhere within the German EEZ with a requirement of being on-site within two hours
      • provide assistance to unmaneuverable vessels e.g. through towing (145t bollard pull) or bringing in a "towing assistance team" (by boat or helicopter)
      • provide firefighting and pollution control, as well as act as a coordination vessel/command ship in such situations
      • provide onboard medical facilities for treatment of wounded in maritime emergencies
      • perform icebreaking in the Baltic Sea
      • tend to buoys (of any size) and other similar general duty operations, e.g. detection and recovery of hazards to shipping, as well as policing general shipping in their area, when not deploying to an emergency


      The current ships only have a helicopter winching platform, which makes deploying emergency response teams somewhat complicated - in the sense of those teams being actually stationed on land right now and the ships only coordinating their deployment. The new ships (additionally) bring a full helicopter deck for the Super Pumas of the Federal Police as well as spare accomodation, thus enabling emergency response teams - for either towing assistance, firefighting, medical or police - to be stationed onboard.

      For operations during pollution control or firefighting the ships are equipped with a very extensive NBC citadel system considerably beyond military standards. As in, not just overpressure and filtration, but being able to entirely operate independent of outside air for a while. The external pollution control systems - swing arms etc - are part of the stuff not yet installed in the above picture, they go in the empty wings to the side of the aft superstructure.

      Oh, and the ships use LNG instead of diesel. And cost 200 million Euro each...

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      • Originally posted by Damen_Naval_press_release

        05 December 2023

        Damen Naval marks official start of construction phase F126 frigates

        The prestigious F126 project reached a major milestone today: the cutting of the first steel for the new multi-purpose frigates for the German Navy


        The prestigious F126 project reached a major milestone today: the cutting of the first steel for the new multi-purpose frigates for the German Navy. Main contractor Damen Naval and project partner NVL Group invited more than 200 guests to attend the official and festive ceremony at the Peene shipyard in Wolgast, Germany. The cutting of the first steel marks the official start of the project's construction phase.

        “We are proud to be able to start cutting steel entirely on schedule on 5 December. We were able to complete the development phase in record time, something that is partly due to the excellent cooperation with BAAINBW, the Navy and the other German authorities,” said Damen Shipyards Group CEO Arnout Damen. “The F126 project is an important contribution to the technological sovereignty of the German, Dutch and European defence industry. The cooperation with our partners Blohm+Voss and Thales is excellent, and the project is now also recognised worldwide as one of the most exciting frigate construction projects.”

        In June 2020, the equipment management organisation of the Bundeswehr, BAAINBw, awarded the construction contract for the four F126 frigates to Damen Naval as head contractor, together with subcontractors Blohm+Voss and Thales. It is the largest shipbuilding project in the history of the German navy and the contract includes an option for two more frigates.

        Over the past three and a half years, Damen Naval and its partners have worked hard on the design for the vessels, although that work has been largely invisible to the outside world, says Magiel Venema, Director of Damen Naval Germany. "The steel cutting is the first visible shipbuilding step of the project as well as the first tangible milestone taking place in Germany itself. The ships will now start taking shape, so everyone can see what is slowly being created."

        The steel cutting marks the start of the construction phase for the F126 project.

        The ships will be built entirely in Germany at shipyards in Wolgast, Kiel and Hamburg. The steelwork and pre-assembly for the stern will take place at the Peene shipyard in Wolgast, part of the NVL Group. The foreship will be built in Kiel, where it will be assembled with the stern and towed by sea to Blohm+Voss in Hamburg. Final outfitting, commissioning, testing and delivery, as well as outfitting of the on-board systems, will take place at Blohm+Voss in Hamburg. Delivery of the first ship is scheduled for 2028.

        Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Defence of Germany, Siemtje Möller MdB states, “With the F126 frigates, the navy has a modern asset that, in future, can serve as an effective deterrent and defence for our alliances and for our own security in all maritime operations and operational areas around the world. In doing so, we demonstrate our reliability and professionalism, but above all our determination and will to stand up for our security and that of our partners. Now, the focus should be to stay on course so that the ships are delivered on time.”

        With a length of 166 metres and a displacement of up to 10,000 tonnes, the F126 frigates will be the largest in the German naval fleet. The versatile multi-mission platforms can operate all over the world and in all conditions, from the tropics to the polar regions.

        "We are delighted to start production of the F126 today and to contribute our shipbuilding skills and expertise to the project together with head contractor Damen," NVL Group CEO Tim Wagner explained. "Our yard in Wolgast is a reliable partner for the German Navy in the construction and repair of highly complex naval vessels. Thanks to targeted support measures, extensive investments in infrastructure, and the high motivation of our employees, the Peene-Werft is a shipyard with clear prospects for the future. The construction of the stern ships will secure employment until 2028 - with positive effects for the entire region."
        ...



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        • WSV ordered a replacement for five of its river buoy tenders ("traffic safety ships") on the Rhine this summer.

          The new ships will be of the Emmerich class for which a prototype was previously procured in 2020.

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          "Traffic safety ships" of WSV tend to be of a unitary general design which depending on local requirements can be built in various sizes - the Emmerich class at 33.25m length and around 250 tons displacement represents the largest of these. Most commonly ships of this layout (like the ones being replaced now) tend to around 25m length, the main change here is a larger work deck and larger onboard maintenance workshop. Despite their size - and unlike e.g. river buoy tenders in the USCG - these ships can be operated with a crew of just two men.

          The main purpose of these vessels is to lay buoys and inspect and repair radar beacons used for navigation on the Rhine, as well as patrols and assisting in emergencies.

          The general layout and purpose of the Emmerich class is fairly close - virtually identical - to that of the Inshore Buoy Tenders that the USCG operates on the Great Lakes and in shallow-water coastal areas (apparently one each in North Carolina and in Alaska). The Emmerich class is built to riverine standards, but can operate close-to-shore at sea - the prototype vessel transferred 400nm via the North Sea under her own power to get from the shipyard to the Rhine.

          A bit unusual for a buoy tender though these WSV ships also generally come with a hydraulic bow ramp to land vehicles up to 12 tons weight. Combined with a very low draft (1.05m) this is used to land construction vehicles on e.g. river islands or inapproachable parts of the shore, but also to deploy WSV's Unimog-based recovery and engineering vehicles:

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