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Danish Frigate's Radar Fails in the Red Sea

Danish Frigate's Radar Fails in the Red Sea

Danish Frigate hit four drones in the Red Sea, but in fact, the radar, similar to German Frigate Hessen, was malfunctioning. On the night of Saturday, March 9, the frigate “Iver Huitfeldt” (F361) came into direct combat for the first time against drones that took off from Houthi-controlled areas in Yemen as part of its Operation Prosperity Guardian fulfilment. . The attack was a larger coordinated attack against coalition ships and civilian shipping traffic. In total, four drones were brought down by “Iver Huitfeldt”.However, according to the Danish website Olfi, the frigate was sent into enemy territory with faulty radar and ammunition. The Olfi publishes a confidential report by the ship’s commander, Sune Lund. The defence minister demands an explanation from the defence chief. 

According to Commander Lund’s report, on the evening of March 9, the ship experienced a communication malfunction between the APAR radar and the C-Flex combat management system, which prevented for an hour (about 30 minutes) the launch of ESSM anti-aircraft missiles. The Frigate has a dual radar, the SMART-L for “volumetric” as it is called, i.e. for detection at long distances, and the APAR (both Thales), which does the survey at a closer range and undertakes to feed target data to the battle management system to launch missiles. C-Flex is manufactured by the Danish company Terma and is “modular” with several software subsystems such as C-Guard (for research), C-Fire (for weapons management), C-Link (for telecommunications) and C-Sim (for training). When the 76mm guns started firing to counter incoming drone threats, there it turned out that several fragmentation projectiles were exploding not close to the target but almost as soon as they came out of the barrel! This malfunction is probably attributed to the age of the projectiles, which were about 30 years old, although the approach fuse was newer, “2005” as it is written. The twin 76mm Leonardo Compact guns of the Iver Huitfeldt-class frigates The effect was to shoot down targets with the guns, but this was not a viable solution as a large volume of ammunition was required, which could quickly deplete the on-board supply. The issue of the APAR radar is reminiscent of similar ones that appeared on the German Frigate FGS Hessen weeks ago when there was also “problematic” communication, this time in conjunction with the SMART-L. However, the Frigate used ESSM missiles in another case of interception, which was made public by the country’s Armed Forces in the video below, while in total, it shot down four drones.

Danish Armed Forces announced the returns at Korsør on 4 April after completing deployment to the Red Sea.