Danish Frigate Suffered Radar, Combat System, Gun Problems During Red Sea Operations

By Joseph Trevithick|

Reports also emerged today that the Iver Huitfeldt‘s combat management system and associated radars experienced major issues during the ship’s recent deployment that temporarily prevented it from firing RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missiles, or ESSMs. The ship did reportedly employ ESSMs against Houthi threats, which, if true, would be the first known instance of these missiles being used in the course of coalition operations against the Houthis.

In addition to the mission system issues, ammunition for the Iver Huitfeldt‘s two 76mm guns also reportedly repeatedly malfunctioned during the deployment, rendering it useless and potentially presenting a hazard to the ship and its crew.

Danish-language outlet OLFI was first to report on the troubles that befell Iver Huitfeldt, citing a leaked internal message from the ship’s commander, Kommandørkaptajn Sune Lund. The Forsvaret has now launched an investigation into what happened to the ship, but it is not immediately clear if they have confirmed any of the specific details that OLFI reported. Iver Huitfeldt is the first of three ships in its class currently in service with the Royal Danish Navy, all of which were commissioned in 2011.


In his missive to his superiors, Kommandørkaptajn Lund complained about an issue involving the Iver Huitfeldt‘s Active Phased Array Radar (APAR), which is produced by Thales Nederland in the Netherlands, as well as the ship’s C-Flex combat management system from Denmark’s Terma, according to OLFI. The exact nature of the issue is unclear, but reportedly prevented the ship from employing its ESSM short-to-medium-range surface-to-air missiles for approximately 30 minutes.

The I-band APAR is Iver Huitfeldt‘s primary air defense fire control radar for use in cueing weapons, and especially ESSM. The frigate also has a Thales Nederland Signaal Multibeam Acquisition Radar for Tracking, L Band (SMART-L) long-range air and surface search radar, which an active electronically scanned array type.



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