Monday, 16 October 2017

Baltic warships: Part 1b: The Absalon-class multi-role ships

The Absalon-class is an interesting design and has been described as a hybrid between a frigate and military transport ship. As a result it has multi-role capabilities that enable it to fulfil a variety of different functions as very short notice.

There are two ships in the class, KDM Absalon and KDM Esbern Snare.

The design's characteristics are:
  • Displacement: 4,500 tonnes light, 6,600 tonnes full load
  • Dimensions:
    • Length: 137 m
    • Beam: 19.5 m
    • Draft: 6.3m
  • Propulsion: 2 × MTU 8000 M70 22,300 bhp diesel engines driving two shafts
  • Speed: 24 knots
  • Range: 9,000 nautical miles
  • Complement: 100 plus aircrew plus other personnel as required (it has accommodation for up to 300 in total)
  • Armament: 1 × 5"/62 Mk 45 mod 4 gun; 2 × Mk32 Mod 14 torpedo tubes, each with 2 × MU90 anti-submarine torpedoes; 2 × Millennium 35mm close-in weapon systems; 2 × 2 Stinger Point-defence surface-to-air missiles; 7 × 12.7mm heavy machine guns plus 5 × StanFlex modules that can typically carry 3 × 12 RIM-162 Evolved SeaSparrow Missile surface-to-air missiles in Mk 48Mod3/Mk 56 vertical-launch silos; 2 × 8 Harpoon Block II surface-to-surface missiles
  • Aircraft carried: 2 × EH-101 helicopters or MH-60R helicopters
  • Electronic systems and sensors: Thales SMART-S Mk2 3D volume search radar; Terma Scanter 2100 surface search radar; Atlas ASO 94 sonar; 4 × Saab CEROS 200 fire control radars; ES-3701 Tactical Radar Electronic Support Measures
  • Electronic warfare and decoys: 4 × 12-barrelled Terma DL-12T 130mm decoy launchers, 2 × 6-barrelled Terma DL-6T 130mm decoy launchers
  • Landing craft carried: 2 × SB90E Landing Craft (Personnel)
The design has been used as the basis for the more recently-built Iver Huitfeldt-class frigates, of which three entered service with the Royal Danish Navy in 2012 and 2013.

A modified anti-submarine version of the Iver Huitfeldt-class design was submitted for the competition to find a new frigate for the Royal Australian and Royal New Zealand Navies, but it was not successful. It is, however, still in contention for the Canadian Single Class Surface Combatant Project that will replace the Iroquois-class and Halifax-class warships in the early 2020s.

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