Ships in Profile: Iver Huitfeldt-class frigate

HDMS Peter Willemoes F362

The Iver Huitfeldt class is a three-ship class of frigates that entered service with the Royal Danish Navy in 2012 and 2013.

The class is built on the experience gained from the Absalon-class support ships, and by reusing the basic hull design of the Absalon class the Royal Danish Navy have been able to construct the Iver Huitfeldt class considerably cheaper than comparable ships. 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 is able to accommodate either the Mark 141 8-cell Harpoon launcher module, or the 12-cell Mark 56 ESSM VLS. The Peter Willemoes passed the British Flag Officer Sea Training test in 2015.

While the Absalon-class ships are primarily designed for command and support roles, with a large ro-ro deck, the three new Iver Huitfeldt-class frigates will be equipped for an air defence role with Standard Missiles, and the potential to use Tomahawk cruise missiles, a first for the Danish Navy.

The ships were constructed in blocks in Estonia and Lithuania. These blocks were then towed to Odense where they were assembled. Compared to the similar De Zeven Provinciën and Sachsen class frigates, the ships of the Iver Huitfeldt-class is lacking a gas-driven propulsion.

The builder’s successor, OMT, suggests the type for the Procurement programme of the Royal Australian Navy’s frigates, but built in Australia and modified for anti-submarine warfare. The type is also suggested for Canada’s Single Class Surface Combatant Project.

Class overview
Builders: Odense Staalskibsværft

Baltija Shipbuilding Yard

Loksa Shipyard

Operators:  Royal Danish Navy
Preceded by: Niels Juel-class corvette
Cost: US$325M/ship
Built: 2008–2011
In commission: 2012 onwards
Planned: 3
Completed: 3
General characteristics
Type: Air defence frigate
Displacement: 6,645 tonnes (full load)
Length: 138.7 m (455 ft)
Beam: 19.75 m (64.8 ft)
Draft: 5.3 m (17 ft)
Propulsion: Four MTU 8000 20V M70 diesel engines, 8,2 MW each.
Speed: 30 knots (56 km/h; 35 mph)
Range: +9,000 nautical miles (17,000 km; 10,000 mi) at 18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph)
Complement: 165
Crew: 117
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • 1 Thales Nederland SMART-L long-range air and surface surveillance radar
  • 1 Thales Nederland APAR air and surface search, tracking and guidance radar (I band)
  • 1 Terma SCANTER 6000 surveillance and helicopter guidance radar
  • Atlas ASO 94 hull mounted sonar
  • 2 Saab CEROS 200 fire control radars
  • ES-3701 Tactical Radar Electronic Support Measures (ESM)
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
  • 4 × 12-barrelled Terma DL-12T 130 mm decoy launchers
  • 2 × 6-barrelled Terma DL-6T 130 mm decoy launchers
  • Seagnat Mark 36 SRBOC
Armament:
  • 4 × Mk 41 VLS with up to 32 SM-2 IIIA surface-to-air missiles (Prepared for, but not purchased.)
  • 2 × Mk 56 VLS with up to 24 RIM-162 ESSM
  • 8–16 × Harpoon Block II SSM
  • 1 × Oerlikon Millennium 35 mm Naval Revolver Gun System CIWS
  • 2 × OTO Melara 76 mm
  • 2 × dual MU90 Impact ASW torpedo launchers
Aircraft carried: 1 × Westland Lynx Mk90B + 1 × MH-60R (planned 2 × MH-60R from 2018)
Aviation facilities: Aft helicopter deck and hangar

Anti-air warfare

The weapons for the three ships were reused from the previous Niels Juel-class corvette and the Flyvefisken-class patrol vessel. Other components were reused as well to keep the cost at a minimum.

These ships share their Anti-Air Warfare suite with the Royal Netherlands Navy’s De Zeven Provinciën-class frigates and the German Navy’s Sachsen-class frigates. The sensors of this suite include the long range surveillance radar SMART-L (passive electronically scanned array) and the multi-function radar APAR active electronically scanned array. The SMART-L and APAR are highly complementary, in the sense that SMART-L is a L band radar providing very long range surveillance while APAR is an I band radar providing precise target tracking, a highly capable horizon search capability, and missile guidance using the Interrupted Continuous Wave Illumination (ICWI) technique, thus allowing guidance of 32 semi-active radar homing missiles in flight simultaneously, including 16 in the terminal guidance phase. The primary anti-air weapons are the point defence Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile and the area defence SM-2 IIIA. The Mk 41 Vertical Launch System is used to house and launch these missiles. Depending on the number of Harpoon launchers installed, up to 48 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile and 32 SM-2 IIIA may be carried.

There are no SM-2 missiles purchased as of today and no money is available for the navy to do so under the current budget period. Plans to include the ships in the future missile shield is only as a sensor and as of today only one unit.

List of ships

Name Laid -Down Launched Commissioned Status
Iver Huitfeldt F361 June 2008 March 2010 January 2011 In Service
Peter Willemoes F362 March 2009 December 2010 June 2011 In Service
Niels Juel F363 December 2009 December 2010 November 2011 In Service

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