German frigate Mecklenburg-Vorpommern

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Fregatte Mecklenburg-Vorpommern F218.jpg
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in the German Bight, 2004
History
Germany
Name: Mecklenburg-Vorpommern
Builder: Bremer Vulkan, Bremen-Vegesack
Laid down: 23 November 1993
Launched: 23 February 1995
Commissioned: 6 December 1996
Identification:
Status: Active
General characteristics
Class and type: Brandenburg-class frigate
Displacement: 3,600 tons (4,490t full load)[1]
Length: 138.85 metres (455.5 ft)[1]
Beam: 16.7 metres (55 ft)[1]
Draught: 4.35 metres (14.3 ft) (6.3 metres (21 ft) over sonar)[1]
Propulsion:
Speed: >29 knots (54 km/h; 33 mph)[1]
Range: 4,000 nautical miles (7,400 km; 4,600 mi)at 18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph)[1]
Complement: 26 officers, 193 enlisted[1]
Sensors and
processing systems:
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
Armament:
Aircraft carried: Two Sea Lynx helicopters equipped with ASW torpedoes, or air-to-surface missiles Sea Skua, and a heavy machine gun.

Mecklenburg-Vorpommern is a Brandenburg-class frigate of the German Navy.

Construction and commissioning[edit]

Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and the three other frigates of the Brandenburg class were designed as replacements for the Hamburg-class destroyers. She was laid in 1993 at the yards of Bremer Vulkan, Bremen-Vegesack and launched in February 1995. Her sponsor was Annemarie Seite, wife of the then Minister-President of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Berndt Seite. After undergoing trials she was commissioned on 6 December 1996, and assigned to 6. Fregattengeschwader. After the naval structure was reorganised, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern was assigned to 2. Fregattengeschwader, based at Wilhelmshaven.

Service[edit]

Mecklenburg-Vorpommern deployed several times as part of NATO's Standing Naval Force Atlantic, in 1998 and in 2000. During her early service Mecklenburg-Vorpommern took part in two Destroyer Exercises (DESEX), DESEX 1999, involving the circumnavigation of South America, and DESEX 2002, a five-month training cruise with port visits to Souda Bay in Crete, Karachi in Pakistan, Mormugao and Cochin in India, Manila in the Philippines, Qingdao in China, Inchon in South Korea, Tokyo in Japan and Malaga in Spain. During her visit to Tokyo Mecklenburg-Vorpommern hosted a reception given aboard by German President Johannes Rau, and attended by the Japanese imperial couple, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko. On her return voyage to Europe Mecklenburg-Vorpommern participated in a missile exercise off Crete. In late 2002 she began a six-month deployment as part of Operation Enduring Freedom – Horn of Africa, which lasted into 2003.[2]

Mecklenburg-Vorpommern resumed her work with Operation Enduring Freedom between November 2004 and April 2005, serving as the flagship for Flotilla Admiral Henning Hoops as commander of Combined Task Force 150. From November 2005 to May 2006 Mecklenburg-Vorpommern was part of in the Standing NATO Maritime Group 1, and for a time was the flagship of the Group's commander, German Commodore Wolfgang Kalahl and his international staff until the end of January 2006. SNMG 1 was integrated into Operation Active Endeavour at this time. In 2006 Mecklenburg-Vorpommern became the flagship of Andreas Krause, Commander in Chief of the Maritime Task Force supporting the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon off the Lebanese coast.[3][4] Mecklenburg-Vorpommern redeployed with Operation Enduring Freedom off the Horn of Africa once more between November 2008 and May 2009. From January to April she served as flagship of the Combined Task Force 150 under Flotilla Admiral Rainer Brinkmann.[5]

On 28 November 2008, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern dispatched a helicopter to rescue three crew members from a Liberian-registered chemical tanker MV Biscaglia who had jumped overboard during a successful pirate attack in the Gulf of Aden. Later that day she came to the assistance of the cruise ship MS Astor, which was transiting the Gulf of Oman en route from Sharm-al-Sheikh in Egypt to Dubai. Mecklenburg-Vorpommern detected pirate speedboats apparently attempting to attack Astor, and manoeuvred into their path while they were three miles from the Astor. Warning bursts of machine gun fire were used to ward off the threat without those on the cruise ship becoming aware of the situation.[6][7]

On 11 February 2014 Mecklenburg-Vorpommern deployed from Wilhelmshaven with the frigates Hamburg and Augsburg, the corvette Oldenburg and the storeship Frankfurt am Main to take part in the navy's annual training and exercises. These concluded at Kiel on 20 June 2014, during which time the ships carried out manoeuvrers as far north as the Arctic Circle and as far south as the Equator, visiting 13 ports in nine countries.[8] In December 2015 the ship was awarded the flag band of the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern by the Minister-President of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Erwin Sellering in Warnemünde. While transiting the Kiel Canal near Schülp bei Rendsburg on 9 December 2015 Mecklenburg-Vorpommern was involved in a collision with the Cypriot-flagged container ship Nordic Bremen. The frigate's bow was badly damaged.[9]

On 16 August 2016 Mecklenburg-Vorpommern left Wilhelmshaven to participate in the EU Navfor Med mission in the Mediterranean from mid-September.[10] She returned to Wilhelmshaven on 23 December, having briefly been part of the NATO's Operation Sea Guardian.[11] She deployed again with EU Navfor Med on 7 August 2017.[12] Mecklenburg-Vorpommern arrived at the Sicilian port of Augusta on 16 August 2017, taking over from the replenishment ship Rhein. Leadership of the force transferred at this time from Captain Marco Reinisch, to Mecklenburg-Vorpommern's commander Christian Schultze.[13] Over the next few months Mecklenburg-Vorpommern gave assistance several times to migrant boats in distress, as part of Operation Sophia. On 13 September 2017 she rescued 134 people, on 25 October 158 people and on 2 November 323 people.[14][15] A woman from Nigeria gave birth to a boy on 3 November 2017, with the support of the ship's medical team.[16] On 1 November 2017, a patrol boat of the Libyan Coast Guard carried out aggressive manoeuvres near the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. The head of the Libyan Coast Guard, Commodore Abdalh Toumia, later apologized.[17] After five months on station Mecklenburg-Vorpommern was relieved by the frigate Sachsen in mid-January 2018. She arrived back in Wilhelmshaven on 26 January 2018, having sailed 29,000 nautical miles and rescued 700 people.[18]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Wertheim, Eric (2007). The Naval Institute Guide to Combat Fleets of the World: Their Ships, Aircraft, and Systems. Naval Institute Press. p. 246. ISBN 9781591149552.
  2. ^ "Geschichte". marine.de (in German). Retrieved 30 October 2016.
  3. ^ "Libanon-Einsatz: Fregatten „Mecklenburg-Vorpommern" und „Karlsruhe" machen sich bereit". Spiegel Online (in German). 31 August 2006. Retrieved 18 July 2016.
  4. ^ Frank Ilse. ""Macht's gut" - Abschied mit Wehmut und ein wenig Stolz". abendblatt.de (in German). Retrieved 30 October 2016.
  5. ^ "Deutsche Fregatte wird Führungsschiff am Horn von Afrika". presseportal.de (in German). Presse- und Informationszentrum Marine. 29 October 2008. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
  6. ^ "German Frigate Chases Off Pirates". Spiegel Online International. Retrieved 2008-12-06.
  7. ^ Frank Bötel (13 December 2008). "Piratenangriffe: Fregatte leistet Nothilfe" (in German). Einsatzführungskommando. Retrieved 18 July 2016.
  8. ^ Presse- und Informationszentrum Marine (11 February 2014). "Einsatz- und Ausbildungsverband 2014 sticht in See" (in German). Bundeswehr. Retrieved 26 March 2014.
  9. ^ "Fregatte nach Kollision stark beschädigt" (in German). NDR Online. 9 December 2015. Retrieved 9 December 2015.
  10. ^ "Nach dem Training in den Einsatz – Fregatte „Mecklenburg-Vorpommern" verlässt Heimathafen". marine.de (in German). Retrieved 24 August 2016.
  11. ^ "Fregatte „Mecklenburg-Vorpommern" kehrt vor dem Weihnachtsfest aus dem Einsatz zurück" (in German). marine.de. Retrieved 31 December 2016.
  12. ^ "Fregatte "Mecklenburg-Vorpommern" im Kampf gegen Schleusernetzwerke". Presseportal (in German). 2 August 2017. Retrieved 15 August 2017.
  13. ^ "Kein Anfänger im Mittelmeer: Fregatte „Mecklenburg-Vorpommern" wieder im Einsatz" (in German). 17 August 2017. Retrieved 8 November 2017.
  14. ^ "Operation Sophia: Fregatte „Mecklenburg-Vorpommern" rettet 134 Menschen aus Seenot" (in German). 14 September 2017. Retrieved 8 November 2017.
  15. ^ "Seenotrettung im Mittelmeer - Einsatz für die „Mecklenburg Vorpommern"" (in German). 25 October 2017. Retrieved 8 November 2017.
  16. ^ "Operation Sophia: Geburt auf der Fregatte „Mecklenburg-Vorpommern"" (in German). 3 November 2017. Retrieved 8 November 2017.
  17. ^ Matthias Gebauer (25 November 2017). "Provokation gegen Bundeswehr-Schiff: Libyen entschuldigt sich für aggressives See-Manöver". Spiegel Online (in German). Retrieved 26 November 2017.
  18. ^ "German frigate Mecklenburg-Vorpommern wraps up operation Sophia deployment". navaltoday.com. 23 January 2018. Retrieved 26 April 2018.