Surface Forces: June 3, 2000

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FRIGATES OF THE MILLENNIUM CLASS: The European navies are set to launch a new series of frigates over the next decade. The similarities, and differences, are intriguing.


@ All of the ships use efficient diesels for cruising, powerful turbines for combat top speed. Only the German ships are designed to use both engines at the same time. This takes an extra propeller shaft, but allows the ship to make the same speed with slightly smaller engines.


@ The Germans, Dutch, and Spanish will commission their ships in 2002; the French, Italians, and British (delayed by the failed Horizon program) won't commission ships until 2007.


@ The Germans and Dutch went with a mix of Dutch and German electronics; the French and Italians went with a mix of Italian and French electronics. The Spanish picked US electronics, and the British are expected to buy their own designs.


@ All of the ships will have vertical missile launchers. The French will have the largest (64 cells) while the Germans with 32 cells have the smallest.


@ All have torpedo tubes; the Germans, Italians, and French picked the Mu-90, the Dutch and Spanish will use US Mark-46 torpedoes. The British will use their own Stingrays.


@ All will have a cannon, either 76mm or 127mm; the Franco-Italian ships will have more than one.


@ All will have a light-caliber cannon (20mm, 25mm, or 30mm). 


@ Italy alone will not fit a close-in defense system, relying on other weapons. 

@ All will carry a helicopter (the Germans alone will carry two).


GERMAN F-124 "SACHSEN": Ships: Three, starting in 2002, Size: 5600 tons, 143m long, 17.4m wide, crew 255. Engines: Combined Operations Diesel and Gas Turbines, speed 29 knots. Radars: APAR, SMART-L, SIRIUS IRST. Anti-aircraft: vertical launch system with 32 cells, SM-2 and ESSM. Close-in defense: two 21-cell Rolling Airframe Missile systems. Guns: Otobreda 76mm, two Mauser 27mm. Anti-Ship Missiles: eight Harpoon. Torpedoes: six tubes for Mu-90. Helicopters: two NFH90


DUTCH LCF "SEVEN PROVINCES": Ships: Four, starting in 2002. Size: 6050 tons, 144m long, 18.8m wide, crew 202. Engines: Combined Operations Diesel or Gas Turbines, speed 28 knots. Radars: APAR, SMART-L, SIRIUS IRST. Anti-aircraft: vertical launch system with 40 cells, SM-2 and ESSM. Close-in defense: two 30mm Goalkeeper autocannon. Guns: Otobreda 127mm, two Oerlikon 20mm. Anti-Ship Missiles: eight Harpoon. Torpedoes: six tubes for Mk-46. Helicopters: One NFH90


SPANISH F-100: Ships: Four, starting in 2002. Size: 5800 tons, 147m long, 17.4m wide, crew 229. Engines: Combined Operations Diesel or Gas Turbines, speed 28 knots. Radars: Aegis SPY-1D, Mk-99 missile guidance, SIRIUS IRST. Anti-aircraft: vertical launch system with 48 cells, SM-2 and ESSM. Close-in defense: 1 Meroka. Guns: US-built 127mm, two Oerlikon 20mm. Anti-Ship Missiles: eight Harpoon. Torpedoes: four tubes for Mk-46. Helicopters: one SH60. 


FRENCH "HORIZON": Ships: two, starting in 2006, more ships later.. Size: 6100 tons, 148m long, 19.9m wide, crew 200. Engines: Combined Operations Diesel or Gas Turbines, speed 28 knots. Radars: EMPAR, S1850M, Vampire. Anti-aircraft: vertical launch system with 64 cells, Aster-15/30. Close-in defense: two Sadral missile launchers, each six tubes. Guns: two Otobreda 76mm, two Breda 30mm. Anti-Ship Missiles: eight MM40 Exocet. Torpedoes: four tubes for Mu-90. Helicopters: one NFH90. 

ITALIAN "HORIZON": Ships: two, starting in 2006, more ships later. Size: 6100 tons, 148m long, 19.9m wide, crew 200. Engines: Combined Operations Diesel or Gas Turbines, speed 28 knots. Radars: EMPAR, S1850M, Vampire. Anti-aircraft: vertical launch system with 48 cells (possibly 64), Aster-15/30. Close-in defense: two Sadral missile launchers, each six tubes. Guns: three Otobreda 76mm, two Breda 25mm. Anti-Ship Missiles: eight Teseo-Mk3.. Torpedoes: four tubes for Mu-90. Helicopters: one EH101.

BRITISH "TYPE-45": Ships: twelve, starting in 2007. Size: Yet to be decided. Engines: Yet to be decided. Radars: Sampson, S1850M. Anti-aircraft: vertical launch system with 48 cells, Aster-15/30 and SM2. Close-in defense: one Phalanx. Guns: one medium caliber (114mm or 127mm) and two 30mm. Anti-Ship Missiles: eight Harpoon. Torpedoes: four tubes for Stingray. Helicopters: one Merlin. --Stephen V Cole

 


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