The ‘Bayern’ left the port city of Wilhelmshaven on August 2 for a six month deployment to the Indo-Pacific region. During the deployment it will carry out joint exercises with the Australian, Singaporean, Japanese, South Korean, and U.S. Navies.
The Bayern will also partake in surveillance operations against North Korea. A coalition of countries, composed of Australia, Canada, France, Japan, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States, already conducts routine surveillance operations near North Korea. The major objective of such operations is to prevent illegal transshipments at sea, the practice of moving goods from one ship to another.
UNSC resolution 2397, which was passed in 2017, banned coal exports from North Korea and reduced North Korean oil imports from 2 million to 500,000 barrels a year. The measure was a response to long range ballistic missile tests conducted by the country. North Korea has been using illegal transshipments at sea to bypass sanctions. The practice became widely publicized when a New York Times investigation, conducted in 2019, revealed that North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, had likely used transshipments to illegally acquire luxury vehicles.
The Brandenburg-class frigates were commissioned between 1994 and 1996 to replace the Hamburg-class destroyers. The ships have a displacement of 3,600 tons, a length of 138.85 m, and a beam of 16.7 m. With an aircraft complement of two Sea Lynx helicopters armed with Mark 46 torpedoes, the ships are primarily an anti-submarine warfare platform, but can also contribute to anti-aircraft operations using the Mk 41 3 vertical launch system which carries 16 Sea Sparrow missiles. The ships received upgrades in 2010 and 2021 to the combat management system and radars respectively.
About Brandenburg-class frigates
Brandenburg-class or also known as F123-class is a class of four frigates mainly use for anti-submarine warfare (ASW) even tough they can perform surface-to-surface and anti-aircraft warfare (AAW). The ships named as follow: Brandenburg (F215), Schlewsig-Holstein (F216), bayern (F217) and Mecklenburg-Verpommern (F218). Those were commissioned between 1994 and 1996.
Length: 139 m (over all)
Beam: 16.7 m
Draft: 6.3 m
Displacement: 4,900 t
Speed: 29 knots
Propulsion: Type CODOG
Sensors: 1 × multifunction radar SMART-S; 1 × air surveillance radar LW 08, range: more than 260 km; 2 × fire control radar STIR 180; 1 × DSQS-23BZ bow sonar; 1 × video and infrared target tracking MSP 600; 1 x EK system FL 1800 S (electronic reconnaissance/electronic warfare)
2 × navigation radar
Weapons: 1 x main gun 76 mm , 2 x 27 mm MLG naval light gun; 4 x 12.7 mm; 2 x launcher RGM-84 Harpoon; 1 x vertical launch system VLS Mk41 for anti-aircraft missiles NSSM and ESSM; 2 x launcher RIM-116 RAM; 2 x torpedo tube for lightweight torpedo Mk46; 4 x decoy launcher MASS