FGS Baden-Wurttemberg (F222) is a new fighting frigate warship set to serve the modern German Navy and succeed the aging Bremen-class. The Bremen-class surface combatants, numbering eight total warships, have been in German Navy service since 1982. Today (2018), six of the group are retired with FGS Ausburg and FGS Lubeck remaining in active commission. Compared to the Bremen-class, the Baden-Wurttemberg class is heavier, more modular and has broader support for automation. The new class is planned as four total ships with FGS Baden-Wurttemberg being the lead model. Her sisters are FGS Nordrhein-Westfalen (F223), FGS Sachsen-Anhalt (F224) and FGS Rheinland-Pfalz (F225). Construction of the group is split between ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (first and third ships) and Lurssen (second and forth ships). Building began in 2011.
FGS Baden-Wurttemberg was delivered in late-2016 but, in a rather embarrassing move for the builder, ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems - and the German Navy for that matter - FGS Baden-Wurttemberg was returned by the Navy for a list to the starboard side and for being overweight.
The warships have a displacement of 7,200 tonnes and reach 490.6 feet in length with a beam measuring 61.7 feet and a draught down to 16.4 feet. Aboard is a crew of 110 though this can be increased to 190 as needed. The warship is equipped with the Cassidian TRS-4D AESA (Active, Electronically-Scanned Array) radar system, navigational aids, specialized communications suites and a full-service Command and Control (C2) center. A complete Electronic CounterMeasures (ECM) suite is also fitted for self-preservation in an active warzone.
The new class features a propulsion scheme centered around a CODLAG - COmbined Diesel-eLectric And Gas - arrangement. In FGS Baden-Wurttemberg this encompasses a single gas turbine, a pair of electric motors and four diesel generators tied to three gearboxes driving a pair of shafts under stern. One of the shafts is used to cross-connect the gas turbine to the arrangement. CODLAG is rooted in the COmbined Diesel And Gas (CODAG) propulsion scheme which the gas turbine is used to achieve the desired high speed dashing while the diesel units as reserved for general cruising. The result is a more fuel efficient, lower-maintenance warship by modern standards. The British Royal Navy's Type 23 frigate series makes use of the CODLAG propulsion arrangement.
Performance specifications include a maximum speed of 26 knots (cruising is around 20 knots however) and a range out to 4,000 nautical miles.
As can be expected with a modern surface fighter, FGS Baden-Wurttemberg is outfitted with a mix of conventional and missile weaponry. A 127mm OTO-Breda gun is mounted to a turret at the forecastle. Close-in defense is managed through 2 x 27mm MLG 27 series remote-controlled autocannons, 5 x 12.7mm Hitrole-NT remotely-controlled heavy machine guns and 2 x 12.7mm machine guns on manual pintle mountings. Missile armament includes 8 x Launchers for the RGM-84 "Harpoon" anti-ship missile (set to be replaced by the RBS-15 Mk 4 missile in time) and 2 x RAM Block II short-ranged surface-to-air missile launchers. The warship also carried non-lethal water cannons for crowd dispersal.
The vessel's profile is traditional with an elevated bow waterline and lower stern waterline. The turret is set over the forecastle in the usual way with a slight superstructure seen just aft. The bridge section is sat overlooking the bow of the ship and the main mast is enclosed and integrated with the forward superstructure as normal. A second mast is aft of midships with the smoke funnels being enclosed and integrated into the aft superstructure. The extreme aft-end of the warship has a full-service hangar as well as a helicopter flight deck - it can service up to 2 x medium-lift navy helicopters. FGS Baden-Wurttemberg has all of the usual stealth-minded design features common to other modern warships - slab siding, enclosed sections, clean lines and minimal protrusions.
As of January 2018, F223, F224 and F225 are all being fitted out for trials. F222 will most likely be commissioned during 2018 or 2019 due to the aforementioned delay.
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