The K130 Braunschweig is Germany’s newest class of ocean-going corvettes, based on the development of the MEKO frigates.

The K130 Braunschweig is Germany’s newest class of ocean-going corvettes, designed with stealth features, low draft, highly automated weapons and defenses. Braunschweig can support coastal warfare and specifically for operations of a multi-national crisis reaction force. Five ships were built between 2004 and 2013 to replace the Gepard-class fast attack craft of the German Navy.

The K130’s design idea was based on the development of the MEKO frigates. The class has a displacement of 1,840 tons, small enough to be maneuverable for costal patrol sorties but was designed large enough to content with “blue water” ocean-bound missions as well. The overall length of the ship is 89.12m with a beam of 13.28m wide, the draft is 3.4m.

These warships were designed with a sleek, and modern look. German corvettes tend to vent at the sides of the ship, mostly because the area behind the engines is used otherwise. The exhaust is cooled with seawater to a manageable level, also automatically making the gasses denser so they stay at the water line.

K130 Braunschweig class
K130 Braunschweig class

Due to high level of automation and integration, it allows the ship to be operated by a crew of 50. The Braunschweig class is fitted with two MTU 20V 1163 TB 93 diesel engines, producing 14.8MW, driving two controllable-pitch propellers. This make the ship can travel at a maximum speed 26 knots and a range out to 4,000 nautical miles with cruise speed at 15 knots.

The ship has a superstructure with two bridges containing radar and sensors. The devices, displays and screens on the bridge are combined in a compact system according to modern ergonomic principles. The Combat Direction System is the “brain” of the class, and is similar to the Aegis combat system. It controls all weapons and sensors and processes the data of its own sensors and external sources fully automatically, creates the situation image and displays it.

On-board sensors include Cassidian TRS-3D multifunction Passive electronically scanned array C-Band radar. This is a 3D multi-mode maritime radar capable of automatic detection and tracking of all types of air and surface threats.

Four heavy anti-ship missiles of the Swedish-German type RBS15 Mk3 form the main armament of the corvette. The 76mm Super Rapid naval gun from Oto Melara is located on the front deck in front of the RAM launcher, which has a rate of fire of 120 rounds a minute. The corvette also carries two 27mm Mauser guns and two rotatable RAM starters, each with 21 cells for RIM-116 missiles.

At the rear of the ship is a helipad, designed for a 12t helicopter, such as Westland Lynx or NH90. The hangar can not accommodate helicopters, but is designed to house two Camcopter S-100 unmanned helicopter. The ships of Braunschweig-class was to be the first naval ship in the world to be fitted with 2 drones for area reconnaissance and monitoring beyond the radar horizon.


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