April 15, 2020 (Google Translation) – On Thursday, April 16, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. the frigate “Baden-Württemberg” will return from its hot water testing in Brazil. The ship left there on February 7 to test the technical systems on board under the influence of warm air and warm water.
A large number of technical systems on a ship rely on cooling. This is done either by air or sea water, so that with increasing air and water temperatures in the ship’s environment, changes in the cooling processes are conceivable. In order to find out whether a new ship can withstand the requirements in potentially warm areas of operation as expected, the corresponding systems have to go through various test programs. The current test results have confirmed the resilience of the “Baden-Württemberg” systems even under extreme conditions.
The cold water test that has already been carried out and the test that has now been completed in warm water can only be carried out after the commissioning of a ship. In order to be able to test a ship in a meaningful way, it is necessary to have driving programs that come close to an operational scenario. This in turn requires an appropriate level of training for the crew that goes beyond “safe participation in maritime transport”. Such operational training shares are only possible after the commissioning of a ship.
When the ship left home port in early February, the journey was different. The corona pandemic was not yet present at this time, restrictions on public life in Germany and in large parts of the world did not yet exist. However, due to the expansion to the pandemic, the ship and the crew faced a new and unusual challenge. Since March 10, no one has been allowed to leave the ship to protect the crew and no one has been allowed on board. The shore leave in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil, which the crew had been looking forward to, had to be dropped. However, the new situation had no effect on the trials. The planned tests in warm waters could be carried out as planned.
On its journey to Salvador de Bahia in Brazil and back, “Baden-Württemberg” traveled a total of around 13,500 nautical miles (25,000 km), including ports on the Canary and Cape Verde islands. The next step is a roughly three-month warranty shipyard period at Blohm & Voss in Hamburg from the beginning of May.