CONTENT PREVIEW
Naval Weapons

Royal Danish Navy sets SM-2 buy as priority, mulls frigate BMD upgrade

23 November 2016
The Royal Danish Navy's three Iver Huitfeldt-class frigates. Fitting the ships with SM-2 medium-range missiles is the top procurement priority for the navy. Source: Royal Danish Navy

Key Points

  • SM-2 purchase is the top priority for the service, but funding remains the challenge
  • The navy will also make a decision on a planned frigate BMD upgrade path in 2018

Funding to acquire a stock of Standard Missile-2 (SM-2) Block IIIA medium-range missiles for its Iver Huitfeldt-class frigates is the Royal Danish Navy's (RDN's) top priority, the service's most senior officer has told IHS Jane's.

Speaking on board the Iver Huitfeldt-class frigate HDMS Peter Willemoes (F 362) during an 18 November port visit in Baltimore, Maryland, Chief of the Naval Staff Rear Admiral Frank Trojahn also indicated that a decision would be made on a planned frigate ballistic missile defence (BMD) upgrade path in 2018.

Commissioned between January 2014 and March 2015, the three Iver Huitfeldt frigates - HDMS Iver Huitfeldt, Peter Willemoes, and HDMS Niels Juel - marry a Thales Nederland-supplied Anti Air Warfare System (AAWS), incorporating the active phased array multifunction radar (APAR) I/J-band multifunction radar, the Signaal Multibeam Acquisition Radar for Targeting (SMART)-L D-band volume search radar, and an associated fire-control cluster, with Terma's C-Flex combat management system (CMS). The ships are also fitted with four eight-cell Mk 41 strike length vertical launching systems (VLSs) capable of firing Standard Missile variants.

Similar AAWS suites have been installed on the Royal Netherlands Navy's (RNLN's) four De Zeven Provinciën air-defence and command frigates and the German Navy's three F 124 Sachsen-class air-defence frigates. The APAR radar underpins the ability of the AAWS to engage multiple simultaneous threats using semi-active radar homing RIM-162 Evolved SeaSparrow Missiles (ESSMs) and SM-2 Block IIIA missiles adapted for compatibility with the interrupted continuous wave illumination (ICWI) guidance mode. ICWI exploits the ability of APAR to transmit a series of discrete illumination pulses that can be rapidly switched among multiple targets, providing the necessary homing energy to guide several missiles to their individual assigned targets.

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