skip to main content

German Navy to equip Frankenthal-class minesweepers with SeaCat AUVs

The German Navy's Frankenthal-class minehunters will be equipped with the SeaCat AUV. (ATLAS ELEKTRONIK GmbH)

Atlas Elektronik has been selected to supply its SeaCat autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) for integration onboard the German Navy's Frankenthal (Type 332C/CL)-class minehunters.

After receiving the green light from the German federal parliament's Budgetary Committee, the President of the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology, and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) signed a framework agreement for the purchase of an initial four SeaCat AUVs on 20 October.

The scope of the contract, announced by the German armed forces and valued at EUR52.5 million (USD55.6 million), includes associated transport and storage containers, spare parts, and documentation. The agreement also provides for the adaptation of an existing training and testing facility and includes options for the purchase of additional units.

The first AUV is expected to be delivered by late 2024, with subsequent system acceptance on the first boat planned for early 2025. All four AUVs will be delivered and integrated by mid-2026.

Atlas Elektronik's SeaCat AUV has a length of around 4 m, a diameter of 325 mm, and a weight of 400 kg. It is equipped with high-resolution synthetic aperture sonar (SAS) to scan the seabed for hazardous objects at depths of up to 300 m and has an endurance of between six and 10 hours and a range of more than 20 n miles at 3 kt. The AUV is modular in design and features an interchangeable SwapHead that allows for a variety of payloads to be fitted.

Atlas Elektronik has also supplied its SeaCat AUV to the UK Royal Navy, which ordered the system for its Mine Hunting Capability (MHC) Block 1 programme under a contract signed in April 2021.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...