The Iver Huitfeldt-class frigates were among the most powerful warships of the Royal Danish Navy
If you’ve ever wondered why frigates often cause disappointment, you need to recognize what Denmark can do. The small European nation has successfully developed a multitasking frigate class, similar to those designed by the US, but with more firepower. The Denmark’s Iver Huitfeldt-class guided missile frigate is versatile warships classified as the most powerful in the world. This class consisted of three ships, the Iver Huitfeldt with the hul number F361 as the leading ship, which was officially commissioned in the Danish Navy in January 2011; the other two ships are Peter Willemoes and Niels Juel.
Iver Huitfeldt’s design inherited from the experience gained on the absalon-class support ships. Iver Huitfeldt was born as the main role of air defense with Standard Missiles and the potential to use Tomahawk cruise missiles.
Formally, Iver Huitfeldt shares up to 80% with absalon class ships. The elongated shape with beveled structure helps reduce the ship’s radar signature, increasing the stealth feature. She is also designed to reduce infrared radiation, underwater noise and magnetic signature. The superstructure is divided into two parts, the front and the back, between the two parts is a chimney containing the shrouded smoke funnels.
Two naval guns were staggered, one on the deck near the bow of the ship, the other positioned higher, in the middle of the superstructure, giving it an overview of the threats around.
Iver Huitfeldt’s overall dimensions include a length of 138.7m, a beam of 19.75m and a draft of 5.3m, her full loaded displacement is 6,645 tons, which is quite bulky compared to other frigates. All the zones are equipped with separate filters to protect the crew against chemical, radioactive or biological weapon attacks and airlocks are provided between them.
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.
The ship’s main radar is Thales Nederland APAR air and surface search. There is also the Thales SMART-L long-range air and surface surveillance radar. For surveillance and helicopter guidance, Iver Huitfeldt uses a Terma SCANTER 6000 radar. Other subsystems include ATLAS ASO 94 hull-mounted sonar, Saab CEROS 200 fire control radars, and EDO 3701 Tactical Radar Electronic Support Measures. Terma DL-12T 130mm decoy launchers for Countermeasures.
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.
Iver Huitfeldt’s main air defense weapon is the four Mk.41 Vertical Launch System with up to 32 SM-2 IIIA surface-to-air missiles. There are also two Mk 56 Vertical Launch System with up to 24 RIM-162 Evolved SeaSparrow Missile.
Iver Huitfeldt can be equipped with 8 to 16 Harpoon block II anti-ship missile system and two dual MU90 Impact anti-submarine warfare torpedo launchers. Also these frigates have potential to be equipped with Tomahawk cruise missiles. 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.