The Royal Danish Navy’s HDMS Niels Juel will be augmented with SM-2 Block IIIA surface-to-air missiles.

The US State Department has decided to approve a possible Foreign Military Sale to Denmark of up to 46 Standard Missile, SM-2 Block IIIA, RIM BK IIIA, and other related equipment for an estimated cost of $152 million. With this weapons package will significantly improve the anti-aircraft capabilities of the Iver Huitfeldt-class frigates of the Royal Danish Navy.

The SM-2 has conducted more than 2,700 successful live firings. In June 2017, Raytheon announced it was restarting the SM-2 production line to fulfill purchases made by the Netherlands, Japan, Australia, and South Korea. The Standard can also be used against ships, either at line-of-sight range using its semi-active homing mode or over the horizon using inertial guidance and terminal infrared homing.

The SM-2 medium-range missile has a wingspan of 1.08m and overall length of 4.72m. It has a diameter of 34.3cm and weighs 708kg. The SM-2 missile is armed with a blast-fragment warhead integrating a radar and contact fuse. SM-2 can be launched from the MK 41 vertical launching system.

HDMS Niels Juel F363
HDMS Niels Juel F363

HDMS Niels Juel (F363) is an Iver Huitfeldt-class frigate in the Royal Danish Navy. The ship is named after Niels Juel, a 17th-century Danish admiral. The frigates are compatible with the Danish Navy’s StanFlex modular mission payload system used in the Absalons and are designed with slots for six modules.

Each of the four stanflex positions on the missile deck can accommodate either the Mark 141 8-cell Harpoon launcher module, or the 12-cell Mark 56 ESSM VLS. The three new Iver Huitfeldt-class frigates will be equipped for an air defense role with Standard Missiles, and the potential to use Tomahawk cruise missiles, a first for the Danish Navy.

Iver Huitfeldt uses a combined diesel and diesel propulsion system, four MTU 8000 20V M70 diesel engines drive two shafts, providing 8,2 MegaWatts each. The warship can reach a maximum speed of 30 knots, the range of which can reach 9,300 nautical miles at 18 knots and her crew complement numbers 165.

This frigate has a hangar and can accommodate NFH 90, Westland Lynx Mk.90B, or similar helicopter, which provides additional anti-submarine warfare capability. The frigate’s main gun is an Oto Melara 76mm Super Rapid gun. The Oerlikon Millennium 35mm naval gun system onboard provides close-in air defence, which has a rate of fire of 1,000 rpm and uses special air-burst ammunition to destroy incoming missiles. A 12.7mm machine gun is also available.

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