German Armed Forces press release – Translated by Naval News
The German air defense frigate will join the carrier strike group, which includes several warships and support ships, with the U.S. Navy’s newest aircraft carrier as the flagship. The primary mission of the “Hessen” will be the air defense of the CSG, thus it will serve to protect all ships and especially the “Gerald R. Ford” against guided missiles and adversary jets. The focus of the coming weeks in the North Atlantic will be on multinational operational cooperation and targeted operational training based on various threat scenarios.
“The crew can expect strenuous days at sea and in the training program. Each crew member has the opportunity to personally experience international cooperation.”
Volker Kübsch, Commanding Officer of Hessen
Itinerary: Across the Atlantic and back
During its deployment in the North Atlantic, Hessen will call at ports such as Norfolk, Virginia in the U.S. – home port of the “Gerald R. Ford” – Halifax in Canada, and Reykjavik in Iceland. The ship and her crew are expected back in Wilhelmshaven in mid-November.
Hessen’s last deployment with a U.S. carrier strike group was in 2018, when Hessen joined the Harry S. Truman CSG.
The German frigate Hessen is one of three ships of the Sachsen class: they are designed as multi-purpose ships for escort and sea control. Their main focus is on air defense: all sensors and weapons on board are optimized for the main task of formation air defense.
The aircraft carrier USS “Gerald R. Ford” is the leading ship of its class, successor to the Nimitz-class ships. Named after the former US president, the ship was commissioned on July 22, 2017.
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About Sachsen-class / F124 frigates
The German Navy has a total of three Sachsen-class F124 frigates. They are designed as multi-purpose vessels for escort, protection and maritime control. Its focus is on air defense: With its SMART-L radar, a single vessel class can, for example, monitor the airspace over the entire North Sea. The radar of the Sachsen-class is able to detect more than 1,000 targets at the same time.
Sachsen-class frigates are fitted with 32x Mk41 VLS for SM-2 and ESSM missiles and two RAM launchers. They can also deploy Harpoon anti-ship missiles and torpedoes.
143.0 m in length
17.4 m wide
6.0 m draft
5,800 t displacement
Crew complement: 230 sailors + 13 aircrew
The German Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) signed a €220 million contract on August 23, 2021, with Hensoldt Sensors GmbH for the manufacture, delivery, and installation of four radar systems for the Sachsen-class frigates (F124). The SMART-L radars will be replaced with TRS-4D/LR ROT wide-range air and sea surveillance radars. The modernization of three frigates is scheduled to be completed in 2025.