Saturday, December 9, 2023

Rheinmetall and MBDA to develop a Laser defense system for German K130 corvettes

In turn, Germany has just announced the launch of a program entrusted to Rheinmetall and MBDA Deutschland to develop a laser close protection system intended to equip the K130 corvettes of the Braunschweig class. The press release from Rheinmetall and MBDA does not give any information on power or production deadlines or committed budget, except that the laser makes it possible to reach targets at the speed of light. We would have suspected it...

MBDA is already involved in the development of the British naval protection laser program to equip the Royal Navy's future Type 26 frigates. Unlike the German corvettes, the Type 26s are designed to have a reserve of electrical power allowing them to accommodate new energy-intensive systems, and in particular directed energy weapon systems, such as lasers. However, according to statements from the US Navy, on-board lasers must reach a minimum power of 500 Kw to be able to intercept anti-ship missiles, knowing that a power of 1 Mw is recommended. It is therefore very unlikely that the German program is intended to strengthen the close anti-aircraft and anti-missile defense of buildings, but rather to have an economical system to eliminate aerial or naval drones, and deter light boats. if applicable.

K130 corvette
The German Navy has 5 K130 corvettes, and has ordered 5 additional examples

The first series of 5 K130 corvettes was built between 2004 and 2013, the construction of the second series, also of 5 buildings, began a few months ago, the keel of the first ship having been laid in April 2019. These Corvettes are equipped with a 76 mm cannon, 4 RBS-15 anti-ship missiles, and 2 RAM short-range air self-defense systems. The ship is designed to operate two Camcopter 100 type aerial drones, but does not have an on-board helicopter. On the other hand, it has no anti-submarine warfare capability, and only has a sea autonomy of 7 days in normal conditions. In fact, the K130s fall more into a classification of missile launchers than corvettes, like the Guépard class ships that they will replace.

Fabrice Wolf
Fabrice Wolf
A former French naval aeronautics pilot, Fabrice is the editor and main author of the site. His areas of expertise are military aeronautics, defense economics, air and submarine warfare, and Akita inu.

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