July 30, 2020 (Google Translation) – The frigate “Hamburg” will sail towards the Mediterranean for almost five months on Tuesday, August 4th, 2020 at 10 a.m. There you will take over the second contingent of missions “Irini” from the European Union. So far, the German Navy had participated with a sea reconnaissance aircraft P-3C “Orion”, which started from the naval base in Nordholz. With the “Hamburg” is for the first time a ship of the German Navy at “Irini”.
“We are facing a mission that will pose a number of hitherto unknown challenges to ships and crew in many ways. Frigate ‘Hamburg’ will be the first German seafaring unit in Operation EUNAVFOR MED ‘Irini’ and certainly here and there on difficult political and operational issues In addition to the regular crew, we are expiring with a broad portfolio of embarked skills, for example with two helicopters and a boarding component of the naval battalion Feel the effects of the corona crisis, which will affect transit times, port planning and shore leave regulations. Despite all the adversities in the preparation for the mission, I am sure that we can make an effective contribution to the operation and I am looking forward to the next four and a half months “, says the commander, frigate captain Jan Fitschen (42), with a view to the upcoming task.
In the Mediterranean, the F124 class frigate will be the main task to help implement the arms embargo on Libya imposed by the United Nations Security Council. It is also responsible for monitoring and collecting information about illegal oil and fuel exports from Libya. The ship and crew will also help build capacity in the Libyan Coast Guard and Navy. Furthermore, the prevention of the business model of the smuggling and trafficking networks in the central Mediterranean will also play an important role in this operation.
The commander emphasized the special nature of the mission: “Not only the mission preparation, but also the mission is all about Corona. In addition to a special quarantine in the first two weeks of transit, including two COVID-19 tests, the port phases are particularly different than in previous missions, so we may not be able to leave the ship until the day of arrival in Wilhelmshaven, i.e. on December 20, 2020. That is also one of the great challenges of this mission, that we as the crew not only have the phases of the sea, but also the Port phases must be carried out together on board and the many individual needs of all 250 soldiers on board will have to be adequately taken into account. ”
The Navy has a total of three frigates of the Saxony class – this includes the frigate “Hamburg”. They are designed as multi-purpose vessels for escort protection and maritime control. Its main focus is air defense: with its SMART-L radar, a single unit of the Saxony class can, for example, monitor the airspace over the entire North Sea (range more than 400 km). The radar of the Saxony class is able to detect more than 1,000 targets at the same time. When it comes down to it, the anti-aircraft missiles of the SM2 type from the VLS Mk41 vertical launch system of the Saxony class range over 160 kilometers.
All sensors and weapons on board are optimized for this main task of anti-aircraft defense. The heart of the Saxony-class computer is the command and control system (FüWES) with strong computing power. It processes all data from the radars and other sensors as well as the information that allied ships provide. The system is redundantly distributed on more than a dozen computers on board. With these capabilities, the 124 class frigates had been incorporated into the United States Navy aircraft carrier combat groups several times in the North Atlantic.
Thanks to its good communication system with radio and satellite connections, the Sachsen class is also able to conduct several other warships at the same time. The Saxony-class on-board helicopters are used for long-range hunting for submarines.