The Iver Huitfeldt-class frigates were among the most powerful warships of the Royal Danish Navy, they are designed for air defense, but can also be used to combat surface ships and submarines.
HDMS Iver Huitfeldt F361 is the first of three frigates of this class, built for the Navy in the early 21st century. The ship was built at Odense Steel Shipyard and delivery to the Danish Defense Material Service on January 21, 2011, then delivered to the Navy on February 6, 2012. The ship is named after Danish hero, Iver Huitfeldt, who lost his life with 596 other crew members during the Battle of Koge Bay on October 4, 1710.
Denmark is now officially calling its new surface combatants “frigates”, previously they had to be called “patrol ships” for political reasons. Iver Huitfeldt and her sisters are built on the experience gained from the Absalon-class support ships, and by reusing the basic hull design of the Absalon class the Royal Danish Navy have been able to construct the Iver Huitfeldt class considerably cheaper than comparable ships. The frigate program has an overall projected cost of 4.7 billion Danish kronor equivalent to $936 million, so $312 million per ship. They are to replace three Olfert Fischer-class missile corvettes and ten Willemoes-class fast attack craft.
Iver Huitfeldt is compatible with the Danish Navy’s StanFlex modular mission payload system used in the Absalons, and is designed with slots for six modules. The seven-deck monohull design features 15 watertight sections. It has been designed to reduce radar signature, infrared radiation, underwater noise and magnetic signature to make the ship as invisible as possible to an enemy.
Overall, Iver Huitfeldt displaces at 6,645 tonnes under full load. She has a length of 138.7m, a beam of 19.75m and a draught of 5.3m. The exterior is easily distinguished from Absalon Class as the Iver Huitfeldt is one deck lower, and lacks an internal multipurpose deck.
Mounted round the top of the superstructure are the four antennae of the Thales active phased-array air and surface search, tracking and guidance radar. It provides 360° target detection, tracking and engagement. Up to 32 missiles can be guided in flight simultaneously, including 16 missiles in terminal stage. Such capability is extremely important while defending against saturated missile attacks. There is also the Thales SMART-L radar for long-range aerial surveillance. It can detect and track ballistic missiles at a range of more than 400 km. Maximal numbers of of targets can be tracked up to 1000 and provides early warning. It is considered that radar combination of the Iver Huitfeldt is more capable than Aegis radar combination of the Spanish Alvaro de Bazan class anti-air warfare frigates.
Other subsystems include ATLAS ASO 94 hull-mounted sonar, FLIR system Seastar Seafire III, Saab CEROS 200 fire control radars, and EDO 3701 electronic warning and assessment system.
The propulsion of the vessel is includes four MTU 8000 20V M70 diesel engines in a combined diesel and diesel configuration, developing a combined output of 44000 saft horsepower, allowing for speeds in excess of 28 knots. This Danish frigate is very fuel efficient. At lower speeds it is capable of traveling 9000 nautical miles. It is enough to travel from Denmark to the United States and back, while there will still be fuel left in the tanks. However, compared to modern Combined Diesel or Gas propulsions, the Danish frigate has inferior engine performance.
Her crew complement numbers 165, accommodating small staff, helicopter crew, doctors, students and trainees. There is a helicopter deck and hangar at the stern can support the launching and recover of a single medium-class navy helicopter as Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk.
The ship’s countermeasures include the 12-barrelled Terma DL-12T 130mm decoy launchers. Terma is a modern decoy-launching system that can fire SeaGnat decoys, the launcher provides 360° coverage against incoming anti-ship missiles.
The primary surface-to-air missile armament is carried in the Mk.41 32-cell Vertical-Launch System. It packs Standard SM-2 missiles, or SM-6 as well as RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow missiles in designated cells. Up to of 32 SM-2 and 24 to 48 Evolved Sea Sparrow missiles are carried by the warship.
Iver Huitfeldt is also armed with the Boeing Harpoon block II anti-ship missile system and the Eurotorp MU90 lightweight torpedo fired from a twin or triple torpedo launcher. Also this frigate has potential to be equipped with Tomahawk cruise missiles.
The frigate’s main gun is an Oto Melara 76mm Super Rapid gun. Also there is a single 35 mm Oerlikon Millennium Close-In Weapon System, it has a rate of fire of a whooping 1000 rpm and uses special air-burst ammunition to destroy incoming missiles. A 12.7mm machine gun is also available aboard the ship.
Even though the Iver Huitfeldtpacks a formidable punch, it is slightlty inferior to the German Sachsen class frigates. It lacks a third layer missile defense and carries less torpedoes. The Danish frigate has got only hull mounted sonar, but no tower array sonar for submarine detection. Also the German frigate carries two helicopters.
- Aquitaine Class – The most advanced French frigate power
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- V34 Barroso – A corvette of the Brazilian Navy
The Iver Huitfeldt class has been deployed in anti-piracy operations as well as operations in Syria. The ships have provided protection for American and French aircraft carriers, and they have regularly been part of NATO’s standing naval forces.It is very possible that the Indonesian Navy will be purchasing 2 Iver Huitfeldt Class Frigates because the Government itself already had a plan to acquire it with a budget plan of $720 Million. If the Indonesian Iver Huitfeldt class frigate plan becomes a reality, the Indonesian Navy will rise to the top of Southeast Asia thanks to this powerful destroyer.