FGS Hamburg Completes Successful Missile Firing Exercise

The "Hamburg" fires an ESSM anti-aircraft missile from its vertical launch system. (Photo: German Navy)

The German Navy’s Sachsen class anti-air warfare (AAW) frigate FGS Hamburg has successfully completed a series of live firings with RGM-84 Harpoon and RIM-162 Evolved SeaSparrow Missile (ESSM) surface-to-air missiles on May 7. The trials involved 17 missile firings and several target scenarios. Besides missile firings, the ship fired more than 150 rounds with its 76mm Main Gun against land targets.

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FGS HAMBURG fires an RGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missile. The target data is acquired from P-3 Aircraft. (Image: German Navy)

The missile firing exercise took place off the coast of Norway at Andoya Test Center with the participation of FGS Hamburg, FGS Main 515 and P-3 Maritime Patrol Aircraft.  The ships returned to their home ports on May 11th and 12th.

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An Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile launches from the vertical launch system of the “Hamburg”. (Image: German Navy)

“This year, due to the pandemic, we had to accept major restrictions in terms of physical cooperation with our NATO partner Norway. The availability of our ships and the exchange between the units involved was also limited, ”said the FGS Hamburg Captain Florian Feld.  “Nevertheless, the results of the tests and performance records of the weapon systems were great.”

According to Feld, the crews of the two ships involved and of the P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft cooperating with them could have demonstrated their operational readiness, practised new defence scenarios and demonstrated the functional chains of the ship’s weapon systems. “My thanks go to everyone involved, at sea and on land – including the soldiers of the army,” said the commander. “With them, we practised and deepened the interaction between sea and land forces. They too have proven their professionalism under this year’s difficult framework conditions. “

FGS Main was used as telemetry ship during the exercise.

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The tender “Main” in front of Andøya. (Image: German Navy)

Andoya Test Center

Since 2016, the German Navy has been using the Andoya Test Center firing area regularly with ships and aircraft for test and practice shooting with missiles, torpedoes and artillery. The Andøya shooting range is located in the northern part of Norway, a few kilometres above the Arctic Circle. It has been granted a 25 000 square kilometre danger area by the Norwegian Civil Aviation Authorities and navies can fire all its missile types without endangering anyone. The firing area is far from sea routes used by civil shipping. 

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Before the actual exercise, the ship visited Harstad harbor to get fresh food.(Image: German Navy)

FGS Hamburg

Hamburg is a Sachsen-class frigate of the German Navy. She was launched on 16 August 2002 and commissioned on 13 December 2004.


Displacement:5,800 tonnes
Length:143 m (469 ft)
Beam:17.44 m (57.2 ft)
Draught:6 m (20 ft)
Propulsion:CODAG (combined diesel and gas)
2 propeller shafts, controllable-pitch propellers
2 MTU V20 diesel engines, 7.4 MW each
1 General Electric LM2500 gas turbine
Speed:29 knots (54 km/h; 33 mph)
Range:4,000 nmi (7,400 km; 4,600 mi)+ at 18 kn (33 km/h; 21 mph)
Complement:230 crew + 13 aircrew
Sensors and
processing systems:
1 Thales Nederland SMART-L long-range air and surface surveillance radar (D band)
1 Thales Nederland APAR air and surface search, tracking and guidance radar (I band)
2 STN Atlas 9600-M multi-function radar 
1 STN Atlas MSP 500 electro-optical fire control system
1 STN Atlas DSQS-24B bow sonar
Armament:1 OTO-Melara 76 mm dual-purpose gun,
2 Mauser MLG 27 27 mm autocannons
1 MK. 41 VLS Tactical with 32 cells for 24 SM-2 Block IIIA and 32 RIM-162 ESSM (quad-packs per cell) surface-to-air missiles
2 RAM launchers with 21 surface-to-air/CIWS missiles each
2 quadruple Harpoon anti-ship missile launchers
2 triple torpedo launchers with EuroTorp MU90 Impact torpedoes
Aircraft carried:2 Sea Lynx Mk.88A or 2 NH90 helicopters equipped with torpedoes, air-to-surface missiles 

Check out Naval Library App to find out the specifications of Sachsen Class Frigates.

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