Albatros-class fast attack craft

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Albatros-class boats, S63 Geier in the foreground. The third one is a Gepard-class boat.
Class overview
Name: Type 143 Albatros class
Succeeded by: Gepard class
In service: 1976–2005
In commission: 1976–1977
Completed: 10
Active: 10
General characteristics
Type: Fast attack craft
Displacement: 398 long tons (404 t)
Length: 57.80 m (189 ft 8 in)
Beam: 7.80 m (25 ft 7 in)
Draught: 2.60 m (8 ft 6 in)
Propulsion: 4 shafts, 4 MTU 16V 956 TB91 diesels 17,700 hp (13.2 MW)
Speed: 40 knots (74 km/h; 46 mph)
Range: 1,300 nmi (2,400 km; 1,500 mi) at 30 knots (56 km/h; 35 mph)
Complement: 40
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • 1 × SMA 3 RM 20 navigation radar
  • 1 × WM27 search and fire-control radar
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
  • Decoy launcher HOT DOG
  • Chaff launcher DAG 2200 Wolke

The Type 143 Albatros class was a German class of missile bearing fast attack craft. Each vessel is named after a bird of prey including the albatross, condor and cormorant. Constructed by German shipbuilders Lürssen and Kröger, the vessels were intended to replace the Type 141 Seeadler class.[1] The German Navy retired the class in 2005 and sold the boats off to Tunisia and Ghana.


General characteristics[edit]

The requirements for the design were finalized in October 1966 and the order placed in July 1972. The Type 143s were constructed of composite hulls, designed by Lürssen, displacing 398 tonnes.[1] They were 57.80 metres (189 ft 8 in) long with a beam of 7.80 m (25 ft 7 in) and a draught of 2.60 m (8 ft 6 in). They had a complement of 40.

The craft were powered by four MTU 16V 956 TB91 diesels creating 17,700 horsepower (13.2 MW) driving four shafts. This gave the craft a maximum speed of 40 knots (74 km/h; 46 mph) and a range of 1,300 nautical miles (2,400 km; 1,500 mi) at 30 knots (56 km/h; 35 mph).[2]

Armament and electronics[edit]

The class was armed with two OTO-Melara 76 mm guns for anti-ship and anti-air warfare. They were placed in single mounts fore and aft. The vessels were also armed with four MM38 Exocet anti-ship missiles situated in two dual mounts aft but forward of the rear 76 mm gun.[2] The class was also equipped with two 533 mm (21 in) torpedo tubes that fired Seal wire-guided torpedoes. The tubes were aft-launching.[1]

The class is equipped with SMA 3 RM 20 navigational radar and WM27 aurface search and fire-control radar.[1][2] For countermeasures, they are provided with a Buck-Wegmann Hot Dog decoy launcher and a DAG 2200 Wolke chaff launcher.[2]

List of ships[edit]

Name Call sign Com-
P6111 S61 Albatros DRBU 1 November 1976 24 March 2005 Sold to Ghana, Naa Gbewaa
P6112 S62 Falke DRBV 13 April 1976 16 December 2004
P6113 S63 Geier DRBW 2 July 1976 29 September 2005 Sold to Tunisia, 507 Himilcon
P6114 S64 Bussard DRBX 14 August 1976 24 March 2005 Sold to Ghana, Yaa Asantewa
P6115 S65 Sperber DRBY 27 September 1976 4 July 2005 Sold to Tunisia, 505 Hamilcar
P6116 S66 Greif DRBZ 25 November 1976 4 July 2005 Sold to Tunisia, 506 Hannon
P6117 S67 Kondor DRCA 17 December 1976 16 December 2004
P6118 S68 Seeadler DRCB 28 March 1977 29 September 2005 Sold to Tunisia 508 Hannibal
P6119 S69 Habicht DRCC 23 December 1977 13 December 2005 Sold to Tunisia, 509 Hasdrubal[3]
P6120 S70 Kormoran DRCD 18 July 1977 13 December 2005 Sold to Tunisia, 510 Giscon[3]

Service history[edit]

S61—S65 were part of the 2. Schnellboot Geschwader (Fast attack craft squadron), and S66—S70 belonged to the 7. Schnellbootgeschwader. Both squadrons were based in Warnemünde.


Tunisia acquired six boats from Germany in 2005. The six craft had their Exocet missile launchers removed before transfer but retained their guns and torpedo launchers.[4] In July 2010, it was reported that Ghana had purchased two vessels from Germany for €28 million.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d Gardiner & Chumbley, p.151
  2. ^ a b c d Moore, p.267
  3. ^ a b "S 69 HABICHT und S 70 KORMORAN jetzt unter tunesischer Flagge" (in German). Deutsche Marine. Retrieved 4 August 2008. 
  4. ^ Cordesman, Anthony H.; Ierguizian, Aram (2009). The North African Military Balance: Force Developments in the Maghreb. Center for Strategic & International Studies. p. 82. ISBN 0892065524. 
  5. ^ "Ghana buys $37m Germany naval ships". GhanaWeb. 28 July 2010. Retrieved 9 January 2015. 


  • "Schnellboot ALBATROS-Klasse" (in German). Deutsche Marine. Retrieved 4 August 2008. 
  • Gardiner, Robert; Chumbley, Stephen & Budzbon, Przemysław (1995). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1947-1995. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-132-7.
  • John Moore, ed. (1981). Jane's Fighting Ships, 1981-1982. New York: Jane's Information Group. ISBN 0-531-03977-3.