German K 130 corvette Ludwigshafen am Rhein returns from NATO deployment

German Navy’s Braunschweig-class corvette Ludwigshafen am Rhein is expected to return to her homeport in Warnemünde on November 17, after concluding her NATO deployment.

Before she reaches home, the K 130 corvette will have sailed over 14.000 nautical miles and spent some 80 days with NATO’s Standing Maritime Group 1 (SNMG1).

Crewed by 59 sailors, Ludwigshafen am Rhein was part of a ten-nation maritime group commanded by Rear Admiral José E. Delgado.

During her time with the group, the corvette took part in major exercises including Northern Coasts 2016 and Joint Warrior.

Apart from maneuvering, communication and replenishment at sea drills, the corvette participated in a number of tactical drills. Other SNMG1 ships did not miss their chance to carry out helicopter evolutions with a corvette. Dutch, Spanish and Portuguese helicopters used the corvette’s flight deck as a training platform during the time Ludwigshafen am Rhein spent with the group.

Another highlight of the deployment for the ship was the recent task of escorting the Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov and its carrier strike group as it sailed for the Mediterranean Sea. Ludwigshafen am Rhein followed the carrier all the way from Norway to the Mediterranean.

By completing her mission, Ludwigshafen am Rein became the second ship from the German Navy’s 1st Corvette Squadron to have deployed to one of NATO’s standing maritime groups. Sister ship FGS Braunschweig was the first to do so earlier in the year.

Another K 130 corvette, FGS Erfurt, pulled off a marathon deployment of 17 months by deploying to the UNIFIL and Operation Atalanta missions in 2015 and 2016.

The 90-meter K 130-class corvette was commissioned in March 2013 as the fifth and last ship in the class. The corvettes are equipped with two 27 mm Mauser MLG27 remote-controlled, fully-automatic cannons, and one OTO Melara 76 mm gun.

They also feature a helicopter landing deck and use the Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) – guided naval missile for close-in defence of ships against anti-ship missiles, aircraft, helicopters and surface threats.