February 8, 2008:
After six years of
planning and construction, the German Navy received the first of its 1,800 ton
K130 ocean going corvettes. These will replace S143/148 class coastal patrol
boats, which were designed for combat along the Baltic Coast. The K130s are
designed for moving long distances to support peacekeeping missions, or any
other type of mission NATO might have outside of Europe.
The K130 design is based on design designated MEKO-A100 frigate. The
K130s can remain at sea for seven days without replenishment, and 21 days if they receive some resupply via
helicopter. The K130s are still basically coast defense ships, but they are
also built for long ocean voyages, and are able to proceed at 25-30 kilometers
an hour in heavy seas. Top speed is 46 kilometers an hour.
The crew of 65 operates a highly
automated ship. Actually, crew size can be as small as fifty. Armament consists
of a 76mm gun, two 27mm autocannons, two 21 cell Rolling Airframe Missile
systems (for missile defense) and four RBS-15 anti-ship missiles. There is a
helicopter pad, but only for landing and refueling helicopters. The ships can
carry a small helicopter, and eventually the navy would like to have a pair of
UAVs in the future. Four more K130s are
being built, and the navy would like to have at least a dozen of them.