German ships here for joint exercise Operation Good Hope III

Feb 19, 2008
Author: P&S

The frigate FGS Kõln arrives off the entrance to Simon’s Town Naval Harbour on Sunday 16 February 2008. Already ‘in port’ is the oiler FGS Westerwald while several mine counter-measure vessels and SAS Protea, the hydrographic survey ship can also be seen. Picture by David Erickson

Over a period of several days the four ships of the German Navy that are taking part in Operation Good Hope III with elements of the South African Navy and South African Air Force, have arrived in Simon’s Town.

Most of the following information is courtesy of David Erickson who in turn relied on for technical information about FGS Hamburg, and Wikipedia for FGS Berlin.

Two of the German Navy ships, the frigate FGS Koln and the replenishment tanker FGS Westerwald arrived on Sunday and the previous week respectively (see our Naval News report dated 17 February). On Monday (19 February) it was the turn of the frigate FGS Hamburg and the combat supply ship FGS Berlin.

The Type 124 Sachsen class frigate FGS HAMBURG arrives off Simon’s Town on Monday morning, 18 February 2008, in advance of joint naval exercises with the SAN. Already in the harbour are SA Navy frigates F146 Isandlwana, F147 Spioenkop and F145 Amatola clockwise from front, together with the white-hulled South African hydrographic survey vessel SAS Protea. Picture DAVID ERICKSON

David Erickson reports:

The German Navy frigate FGS Hamburg F220 arrived in Simon’s Town at 08h35 on Monday (18 February) to a welcoming salute from the Lower North Battery. Smoke from the gunfire can be seen in one of the pictures. The crew of F220 ‘manned ship’ as the vessel entered Simon’s Town Naval Harbour.

FGS Hamburg is an Air Defence Frigate of the ‘Sachsen’ or Type 124 Class, and was commissioned in December 2004. The Sachsen class consists of three frigates built under the Trilateral Frigate Agreement, signed by the Netherlands, Germany and Spain, which provides co-operation in national construction of the frigates in each country.

The German Navy frigate HAMBURG (F220) is manoeuvered into her berth in a crowded Simon’s Town Naval Base yesterday (Monday) morning. The ship arrived to a 21-gun salute from the shore battery. Details of the frigate and her consorts will be posted later today in the NAVAL NEWS section of Ports & Ships. Picture David Erickson

The ship has a complement of around 230 including officers, CPOs and ratings, plus accommodation for additional personnel. Her length overall is 143m with a beam of 17.44m. Propulsion consists of a combined diesel and gas turbine system (CODAG) – a gas turbine engine putting out 23,500kW and two diesel engines producing 7,400kW each. The two operating shafts work independently and are fitted with controlled-pitch 5-blade propellers. The ship has a single steering gear (rudder).

Type 124’s performance is described as having an operating range of 4,000 n.miles at 18 knots in AnDiNot mode, with an endurance of 21 days at sea. Her maximum speed is 29 knots.

Command and Control

A Thales Nederland (formerly Signaal) Sewaco FD combat system using a distributed real-time database and integrated communications network includes 17 multifunction consoles and processors, two large-screen tactical displays, 12 bus interface units, a COSMOS monitor, a redundant databus and distributed processing.
The system uses Asynchronous Transfer Mode-based (ATM) architectures for fast data transmission.


The ship's medium and long-range anti-air missiles are the Raytheon Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) and the Standard Missile SM2111-A, which are fired from a VLS mk41 32-cell launcher. FGS Sachsen successfully completed firing trials with ESSM and SM-2 in July / August 2004.

The type 124s each have two Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM), mk31 launchers and two four-cell Harpoon missile launchers. Boeing Harpoon is an autonomous all-weather anti-ship missile with range in excess of 65 nautical miles. The RAM missile from Raytheon and RAM Systems GmbH is a fire-and-forget missile which provides short-range defence against incoming anti-ship missiles including sea-skimming missiles.


The F124 type is equipped with an Oto Melara 76mm gun, and two Rheinmetall 20mm guns.

A KMW PzH 2000 howitzer turret with a 155mm gun has been mounted on the deck of FGS Hamburg (F220) as a demonstration of the feasibility of the system for naval applications. The concept is called MONARC and requires a flexible elastic mounting. MONARC has a range of 22n.miles. Live fire trials were conducted in September 2003.


The ship is fitted with two triple mk32 torpedo launchers for EurotorpMU90 lightweight torpedoes and also has helicopter-borne long-range lightweight torpedoes.


The flight deck and hangar accommodate two NH90 or Super Lynx helicopters. The flight deck is rated to accommodate a 15t class helicopter such as the Merlin, for fuelling and torpedo loading. The helicopter handling system from MBB-Forder und Hebesysteme uses laser guided and computer controlled manipulator arms to secure the helicopter after landing.

FGS Hamburg in ‘close up’ – picture David Erickson


The ship's electronic countermeasures suite includes an EADS Systems and Defence Electronics FL1800 SII ECM system and six Sippican Hycor SuperRBOC launchers which fire chaff and flares. Electronic support measures are provided by EADS Systems and Defence Electronics Maigret CESM (Communications ESM).


The radars include two Atlas Elektronik 9600-M I/J-band multi-function ARPA radars, Thales Nederland SMART-L long-range air and surface surveillance and target indication radar, and Thales Nederland APAR Active Phased Array Radar. APAR is a multi-function radar operating at X band which provides target search and tracking and guidance for the Standard Missile 2.

The ship is equipped with a Thales Nederland Sirius IRST long-range infra-red surveillance and tracking sensor. STN Atlas MSP 500 electro-optical fire control system provides target acquisition and tracking for the main gun. The bow sonar is the STN Atlas Elektronik DSQS-24B.


The German Navy combat support ship BERLIN A1411 is taken to her berth on the outer wall at Simon’s Town Naval Base on arrival from Europe and West Africa. Among the other warships in this scenic view of a corner of ‘Simon’s Bay’ are three Valour class frigates of the SAN to the left of the picture and the hydrographic survey ship SAS PROTEA (white hull). Picture by David Erickson

The Combat Support Ship FGS Berlin A1411 also arrived on Monday morning, entering Simon’s Town harbour at 09h30. As with FGS Hamburg the crew of FGS Berlin ‘manned ship’ as the vessel came alongside.

The Type 702 Berlin class replenishment ships are the largest vessels of the Deutsche Marine (German Navy). In German, this type of ship is called Einsatzgruppenversorger which can be translated as task force supplier though the official designation in English is combat support ship. They are intended to support German naval units away from their home ports. The ships carry fuel, provisions, ammunition and other materiel and also provide medical services.


Commissioned: 11 April 2001
Homeport: Wilhelmshaven
Length: 173.70 m
Beam: 24.00 m
Draft: 7.60 m
Displacement: 20,240 tonnes
Speed: 20 knots
Propulsion: 2 diesel-engines, 5340kW each
Bow thrusters: 1
Armament: 4 MLG 27 mm autocannons Fliegerfaust
2 surface to air missile (MANPADS)
Hangar: 2 Sea King or NH90 helicopters
Complement: 159 (+94)


CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE Picture by David Erickson

The final picture shows the navy tugs returning to their berths in the still-water basin, having completed their tasks, with the Naval Harbour looking decidedly ‘ready for action’.



Click to go back

  - Contact Us

  - Home