Thetis-class patrol vessels have exterior-hulls that are double-skinned & ice-reinforced enabling these ships can break through 80 centimeters of solid ice.
Denmark is country located in northwestern Europe. The Vikings founded Denmark more than 1,100 years ago and in doing-so created one of Europe’s oldest known kingdoms. For centuries the Danish dynasties ruled all of both Norway and Sweden combined, as well as, the island nation of Iceland.
Today Denmark is a small nation that occupies most of the Jutland Peninsula and hundreds of islands. Denmark is surrounded by the Baltic Sea and the North Sea.
To the north, Denmark is separated from Norway and Sweden by the Skagerrak and Kattegat straits. The southern part of Denmark borders Germany, which is Denmark’s only land border with the main European land, this border is only 68km long.
Because of these geographical features, the development of Denmark’s fishery protection and inspection service is an urgent requirement. In 1977, the Danish economic zone was expanded to 200 nautical miles from the coast of Greenland and the Faroe Islands.
Based on these factors, It was clear that the next generation of vessels for service in these waters had to be faster, more long-legged and better equipped than the ships that had previously been in-service at this time.
In the early 1990s, Denmark built a class of large patrol vessels, also called Stanflex 3000, to meet the requirements of the Royal Danish Navy in the new era. The class comprises four ships, the main tasks of this class are maintenance of sovereignty, search and rescue, fishery inspection and support to local authorities.
The design of the Thetis-class patrol frigate is based on standardization with existing Danish naval equipment and software. The technological standards achieved ensure reliable, safe and economic operations.
Based on these tasks and past experience, the ships were built with a displacement of 3,500 tons, a length of 112.3m (368.44 ft), a beam of 14.4m (47.24 ft) and a draft of 6m (19.68 ft).
When completed, the ships can reach an endurance of 8300 nautical miles at varying speeds, consuming no more than 90% of the gas oil available. Provisions cover 4 months’ operations, and the stocks of spare parts arc sufficient for 6 months at sea without replenishment.
By design, the Thetis-class patrol vessels have exterior-hulls that are double-skinned & ice-reinforced enabling these ships can break through 80 centimeters of solid ice.
The hull of the thetis-class vessels are divided into watertight compartments by ten bulkhead – such that Thetis-class vessels can sustain hull damage up to eight meters in length without resulting in dangerous instability problems. The basic hull shape corresponds to that of a high-speed trawler and the frames in the bow and stern are very closely spaced.
The propulsion system is a combination of 3 M.A.N. B-&-W V2-R32 diesel engines providing 3,943 horsepower each. The reduction gear box is able to operate under water, the titled bow thruster is able to hold the bow against an athwartship wind of 28 knots.
Furthermore, a retractable uzimuth thruster has been installed. This thruster is able to propel the ship at about 10 knots, and can thus be considered as “get-you-home” machinery to be used in case of damage to the propeller the gear, or total engine failure.
The ships can reach a maximum speed of 22 knots, the seakeeping qualities allow the ships to stand up to wind gusts of 150 knots during light ice conditions and operate in all sea conditions at speeds of 4 to 5 knots.
The thetis-class patrol vessel is also designed to operate a Westland Lynx Mk90B helicopter in the stern, along with a full service hangar.
Since 2016, the Royal Danish Navy has switched to using MH-60R helicopters, that carry a fuel capacity that can suffice for 150 flying hours.
The ability to operate the ship’s services was also optimized with the arrangement of two 7m Rigid-hulled inflatable boat.
In the ocean patrol role, the standard base crew is 47 persons and 16 conscripts. When in either the command ship role or the more warfare-heavy roles, the base crew is expanded to 60 persons plus 4 aircrew and one or two doctors. Accommodation is available for 101 personnel in all.
In order to meet Denmark’s task of defending sovereignty, corresponding weapons were included in the Thetis-class design. The ship’s main armament is a 76mm OTO Melara Super Rapid DP gun. This naval gun has a high rate of fire with 120 rounds a minute and range of 16km, this make it capable for short-range anti-missile point defence, anti-aircraft warfare (AAW), anti-surface warefare (ASW), and ground support.
Along with the main gun are two 12.7 mm heavy machine guns and two 7.62mm light machine guns.
Sensor and electronic systems
The fire control system is the Saab Systems 9LV 200 mk3. A FLIR Systems AN/AAQ-22 SAFIRE thermal imaging system is used for surveillance.
The ships are fitted with a Terma Scanter Mil 009 navigational radar, a Furuno FR-1505 DA surface search radar and a Terma SCANTER 4103 air & surface search radar.
Sonar equipment consists of a SaabTech hull-mounted type CTS-36 and a Thales Underwater Systems TMS 2640 Salmon Variable Depth Sonar.
Four Thetis-class ocean patrol vessels have been in service with the Royal Danish Nayve since 1991, and since then have been a key member of the fleet in maintenance of Danish missions for sovereignty, search and rescue, fishery inspection and support to local authorities.
The area of operations areas for these ships has typically been around Greenland and the Faroe Islands, but the vessels also operate near Iceland on transit between Greenland and the Faroe Islands, and near Denmark.
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