Germany upgrades minehunters, buys training simulators
Germany is modernizing the last three of ten Frankenthal 332A class minehunters with a new mine countermeasure system.
The Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) announced December 21 that Atlas Elektronik, a joint company of ThyssenKrupp and Airbus DS was contracted to modernize the vessels.
Under the contract, the minehunters will receive the Integrated Mine Countermeasure System (IMCMS) that all other vessels in the class have already received.
The old Pinguin system will be replaced by the SeaFox fibre-optic guided, one shot mine disposal vehicle and the vessels will also be equipped with the capability to control the Seehund remotely operated vehicles.
The Seehund surface drones are 25 meters long and displace 95 tones. They simulate acoustic and magnetic signatures of larger vessels to detonate mines.
The SeaFox system mainly comprises a console, a launcher and the SeaFox vehicles. The two different vehicles allow a quick disposal of mines during operation with the combat vehicle (SeaFox C) as well as cost-saving identification with the reusable identification version (SeaFox I).
The contract will also see the company deliver an ashore training and testing facility that will be set up in Kiel. The facility will allow training in a 1:1 environment and will also allow for new components to be tested before they are installed onboard actual vessels.