Iver Huitfeldt-class frigate

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F361 Iver Huitfeldt.jpg
F361 Iver Huitfeldt in Aarhus, January 2012
Class overview

Odense Staalskibsværft

Baltija Shipbuilding Yard[1]

Loksa Shipyard[1]
Operators:  Royal Danish Navy[2]
Preceded by: Niels Juel-class corvette[3]
Cost: US$325 million per ship[4][5]
Built: 2008–2011
In commission: 2012 onwards
Planned: 3
Completed: 3
General characteristics
Type: Air defence frigate
Displacement: 6,645 tonnes (full load)
Length: 138.7 m (455 ft)
Beam: 19.75 m (64.8 ft)
Draft: 5.3 m (17 ft)
Speed: 30 knots (56 km/h; 35 mph)
Range: 9,300 nautical miles (17,200 km; 10,700 mi) at 18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph)[7]
Complement: 165
Crew: 117
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • 1 Thales Nederland SMART-L long-range air and surface surveillance radar
  • 1 Thales Nederland APAR air and surface search, tracking and guidance radar (I band)
  • 1 Terma SCANTER 6000 surveillance and helicopter guidance radar
  • Atlas ASO 94 hull mounted sonar
  • 2 Saab CEROS 200 fire control radars
  • ES-3701 Tactical Radar Electronic Support Measures (ESM)
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
Aircraft carried: 1 × MH-60R
Aviation facilities: Aft helicopter deck and hangar

The Iver Huitfeldt class is a three-ship class of air defence frigates that entered service with the Royal Danish Navy in 2012 and 2013.[8][9][10]


The class is built on the experience gained from the Absalon-class frigates, and by reusing the basic hull design of the Absalon class the Royal Danish Navy have been able to construct the Iver Huitfeldt class considerably cheaper than comparable ships.[11]

Side view of frgate Niels Juel in front of green hills of Harstad port
F363 Niels Juel in Harstad (Norway), June 2018

The frigates are compatible with the Danish Navy's StanFlex modular mission payload system used in the Absalons, and are designed with slots for six modules. Each of the four stanflex positions on the missile deck is able to accommodate either the Mark 141 8-cell Harpoon launcher module, or the 12-cell Mark 56 ESSM VLS.[12] The Peter Willemoes passed the British Flag Officer Sea Training test in 2015.[13]

While the Absalon-class ships are primarily designed for command and support roles, with a large ro-ro deck, the three new Iver Huitfeldt-class frigates will be equipped for an air defence role with Standard Missiles, and the potential to use Tomahawk cruise missiles,[14] a first for the Danish Navy.

The ships were constructed in blocks in Estonia and Lithuania. These blocks were then towed to the Odense Steel Shipyard where they were assembled.[1]

HDMS Peter Willemoes



The builder's successor, OMT, suggested the type for the Procurement programme of the Royal Australian Navy's frigates, but built in Australia and modified for anti-submarine warfare.[15] (along with the RNZN as they currently operate modified ANZAC class frigates similar to the RAN). However OMT was not among the three warship designers shortlisted by Australia for the SEA 5000 frigate program in April 2016.


The Iver Huitfeldt class frigate was a contender in the Canadian Single Class Surface Combatant Project.[2] However, it is believed that due to concerns over the fairness of the bidding process, two European shipbuilders, possibly Germany's ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems and Odense Maritime Technology, declined to submit bids.[16]

United Kingdom[edit]

In late May 2018 the consortium of Babcock International, BMT Group and Thales Group announced the "Arrowhead 140" design, based on the hull of the Iver Huitfeldt frigates, for the Royal Navy Type 31e frigate programme.[17] It was announced on 12 September 2019 that the Arrowhead 140 design had been selected for the Type 31 Frigate.[18][19][20]


In March 2019 a variant of Denmark's Iver Huitfeldt class has emerged as a front-runner for the Indonesian Navy's US$720 million two-frigate acquisition programme according to Jane's.[21]

The Indonesian Navy expects to purchase two Iver Huitfeldt-class frigates with a budget plan of US$ 720 Million for its MEF Phase 3 in 2020-2024. Indonesian officials and Ministry of Defense officials have held multiple meetings about the ships. As of 14 March 2019 there are advanced discussion between the Indonesian Ministry of Defense and Odense Maritime Technology about the technical issues and potential cooperation. Denmark has offered a scheme of "transfer of technology" (ToT) to Indonesia, such as modular frigate building designed by BUMN PT PAL.[22]

In February 2020, defense delegation from Indonesia visited Denmark, and toured the Niels Juel. According to local media, the deputy of the Indonesian Ministry of Defense Sakti Wahyu Trenggono said in March that Indonesia’s PT PAL was tasked to develop a design for 2 ships over 5 years, for Rp1.1 trillion (or USD720 million) in collaboration with Denmark, for Indonesian Navy (TNI-AL).[23][24] And on April 30, representatives from the Indonesian Ministry of Defense, PT PAL shipbuilders and PT Sinar Kokoh Persada, an Indonesian agent for the Danish Odense Maritime Technology (OMT) company, had agreed to an opening contract for the procurement of the Danish Frigate. Points in the contract include workshare arrangements that will be made after the effective (actual) contract can be realized.[25]

Anti-air warfare[edit]

Most of the weapons for the three ships were reused from the previous Niels Juel-class corvette and the Flyvefisken-class patrol vessel. Other components were reused as well to keep the cost at a minimum.

These ships share their Anti-Air Warfare suite with the Royal Netherlands Navy's De Zeven Provinciën-class frigates and the German Navy's Sachsen-class frigates. The sensors of this suite include the long range surveillance radar SMART-L (passive electronically scanned array) and the multi-function radar APAR active electronically scanned array. The SMART-L and APAR are highly complementary, in the sense that SMART-L is a L band radar providing very long range surveillance while APAR is an I band radar providing precise target tracking, a highly capable horizon search capability, and missile guidance using the Interrupted Continuous Wave Illumination (ICWI) technique, thus allowing guidance of 32 semi-active radar homing missiles in flight simultaneously, including 16 in the terminal guidance phase.[26] The primary anti-air weapons are the point defence Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile[27] and the area defence SM-2 IIIA. The Mk 41 Vertical Launch System is used to house and launch these missiles. Depending on the number of Harpoon launchers installed, up to 48 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile and 32 SM-2 IIIA or SM-6 may be carried.

List of ships[edit]

Name Number Laid Down Launched Commissioned Status Badge
Iver Huitfeldt F361 June 2008 March 2010 January 2011 In Service Ship's badge for Iver Huitfeldt (F361).svg
Peter Willemoes F362 March 2009 December 2010 June 2011 In Service Ship's badge for Peter Willemoes (F362).svg
Niels Juel F363 December 2009 December 2010 November 2011 In Service Ship's badge for Niels Juel (F354).svg

See also[edit]

Similar ships[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d http://www.navalhistory.dk/Danish/SoevaernsNyt/2008/0201_NyeFregatter.htm
  2. ^ a b Paul Pryce (13 November 2013). "The Future of Canada's Navy". RealClearDefense. Retrieved 20 March 2014.
  3. ^ Article about the new frigates on Forsvaret.dk Archived 2014-05-14 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Cavas, Christopher (2014-11-21). "Sleek, modern and built on a budget – Denmark's latest frigate". Intercepts. Defense News. Archived from the original on 2016-01-15. Retrieved 2015-10-30.
  5. ^ Hammes, Thomas (2013-08-06). "Getting Our Money's Worth: LCS vs Iver Huitfeldt-Class". War on the Rocks.
  6. ^ Muradian, Vago (2016-11-29). "Design Philosophy of Denmark's Iver Huitfeldt-Class Frigates". Defense & Aerospace Report.
  7. ^ http://nozebra.ipapercms.dk/valcon/OMT1/IverHuitfeldtClass/TheIverHuitfeldtClassMaerskBroker/
  8. ^ "Danish frigate program" (PDF). Danish Defence Acquisition and Logistics Organization. Retrieved 5 September 2019.
  9. ^ Royal Danish Navy Official Home Page on New Frigates Archived 2009-04-02 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "An Overview of Current, On-Going Danish Naval Projects 2005–2009 Projekt Patruljeskib – the Iver Huitfeld class Patrol Ship/Future Frigate". Canadian American Strategic Review. July 2008. Archived from the original on 2013-03-06. Euphemisms for 'frigate' have become the norm in Denmark – the frigate-sized Thetis class OPVs were dubbed Inspektionsskib and Absalon class support ships will never be called Transport Frigates in official use. However, it is hard to see the planned powerful, heavily-armed Patruljeskib as anything other than frigates.
  11. ^ Danish Newspaper article on the Iver Huitfeldt class of frigates.
  12. ^ Wertheim, Eric, ed. (2007). The Naval Institute Guide to Combat Fleets of the World: Their Ships, Aircraft, and Systems (15th ed.). Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press. p. 153. ISBN 978-1-59114-955-2. OCLC 140283156.
  13. ^ "Willemoes i superligaen". Danish Defence. 20 May 2015. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  14. ^ Article in July 2008 issue of Defence Technology International describes new frigates
  15. ^ Cameron Stewart (17 March 2016). "Navy frigates in a $30bn race to the future". The Australian. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  16. ^ Pugliese, David (5 December 2017). "Liberals reject warship proposal that companies said would save taxpayers as much as $32B". National Post. Retrieved 5 December 2017.
  17. ^ https://ukdefencejournal.org.uk/babcock-launches-team-31-selects-arrowhead-140-design-for-type-31e-frigate-competition/
  18. ^ Tovey, Alan (24 August 2019). "Babcock set to build new cut-price frigates and weaken BAE shipbuilding monopoly". Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 26 August 2019.
  19. ^ Pfeifer, Sylvia; Payne, Sebastian; Dickie, Mure (12 September 2019). "Babcock group wins contract to build Royal Navy frigates". Financial Times. London and Edinburgh. Retrieved 12 September 2019.
  20. ^ "Design of new Type 31 frigates selected". Royal Navy. London. 12 September 2019. Retrieved 12 September 2019.
  21. ^ Rahmat, Ridzwan (12 March 2019). "Indonesia leans towards Iver Huitfeldt class for frigate acquisition". Jane's Navy International. Retrieved 21 September 2019.
  22. ^ Ridzwan Rahmat, "Indonesia leans towards Iver Huitfeldt class for frigate acquisition", Jane's Navy International, 12 March 2019
  23. ^ Gunawan, Deden. "Bicara Industri Pertahanan, Wamenhan: Harusnya Tak Rugi". detiknews (in Indonesian). Retrieved 2020-06-14.
  24. ^ "Indonesia Looking at Iver Huitfeldt-class Frigate to Boost TNI-AL's Blue Water Force". Naval News. 2020-06-09. Retrieved 2020-06-14.
  25. ^ "Jelang Pembangunan Unit Perdana Frigat Iver Huitfeldt, Kemhan, PT PAL dan Prinsipal Atur Soal Workshare". Indomiliter.com. 2020-06-13. Retrieved 2020-06-14.
  26. ^ Jane's Navy International, October 2005, "Live firing tests rewrite the guiding principles"
  27. ^ "Video: Thales Active Phased Array Radar excels in ESSM firings from new Danish Frigate". February 1, 2014.

External links[edit]