Anti-mine vehicles of the German Navy

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Hameln class
Grömitz (M 1064) after conversion with MLG 27
Grömitz (M 1064) after conversion with MLG 27
Type Anti-mine vehicle
units 28

Abeking & Rasmussen
Marinewerft Istanbul

Namesake German cities and communities
period of service

since 1989 Germany since 2005 Turkey since 2006 United Arab EmiratesGermanyGermany (naval war flag) 
United Arab EmiratesUnited Arab Emirates 

Technical specifications

635-650 tons


54.40 m


9.20 m


2.50 m


37-42 men

  • 2 × MTU 16V 396 TB84 diesel engines of 2040 kW each, MJ engine ( MJ 332 )
  • 2 × diesel engine MTU 16V 538 TB91 of 2250 kW each ( MJ 333 , HL 352 )

18 kn


no information

  • 2 × Bofors 40 mm flak
    (before conversion, MJ 332 only 1 ×)
  • 2 × Mauser 27 mm MLG (after conversion)
  • 2 × 12.7 mm MG
  • 2 × Fliegerfaust 2 ( Stinger )
  • Raytheon SPS-64 or Sperry Bridgemaster Navigation Radar (I-Band)
  • Signaal WM20 / 2 search and fire control radar (I / J band, not MJ 332 )
  • Atlas Elektronik DSQS-11M high frequency mine hunting sonar
    (not HL 352 )
  • STN ADS DSQS 15A active high-frequency mine avoidance sonar
    (only HL 352 )

The various classes of anti-mine vehicles used by the German Navy since the end of the 1980s are based on a uniform ship design. The Turkey also procured boats from this type of ship. This article describes the different variants.


One of the first tasks of the German Navy was to remove the remains of mines from the Second World War in German waters. For this purpose, 24 clearing boats of the Capella and Aldebaran class were returned to Germany from their spoils of war . In fact, these boats with German crews under Allied control ( German Mine Clearance Service ) had been engaged in mine clearing tasks not only in German waters since the end of the war, and they formed the material and personnel basis of the mine defense associations. As a further development of this type of boat from the war, the fast minesweepers of the Schütze class were created , which were very similar to the clearing boats in design and properties.

During the East-West conflict , the German Navy was responsible for both mine deployment and mine defense. The first conceptual ideas when building the navy assumed that the German naval and sea air forces would have to prepare a large Allied landing in the rear of the opposing troops in the event of war. This required a large number of anti-mine vehicles to clear the fairway for amphibious formations of sea ​​mines . Therefore, between 1956 and 1970 around 60 such vehicles of different types were purchased.

Soon the idea of ​​such a landing turned out to be unrealistic, and new concepts envisaged locking in the Warsaw Pact fleets in the Baltic Sea. Large mine barriers were planned for this. The laying of these barriers became the main task for large parts of the mine defense forces.

In the 1980s it was necessary to replace most of the German anti-mine vehicles due to their age. For financial reasons, it was impossible to replace all 60 vehicles with new buildings. For technical and logistical reasons, the variety of types should also be reduced. It was decided to develop a unitary hull, which should be expanded in different variants.

Since mine-laying was the most important task at the time, the priority was to maintain the existing mine-laying capacity. In a first step, the 21 high-speed minesweepers of the Schütze class were to be replaced by ten new boats with a double mine load. After that, new minehunters should follow.


Anti-mine vehicles must be designed in such a way that they are as well protected as possible against mines. It is therefore important to ensure a shallow draft, low noise levels and a reduced intrinsic magnetic field. To reduce magnetic signatures, most minesweepers in the past were made of wood. This construction method was very complex, and as an alternative, many navies developed boats made of fiberglass-reinforced plastic . Instead, the German Navy opted for non-magnetizable steel, which is more resistant to the ice that can be expected in the Baltic Sea in winter. The German shipyard industry also had experience with this material from submarine construction.

Fast minesweepers Hameln class (class 343)

The typical ship Hameln during the Kiel Week 2007
FGS Hameln
SM-Boot M1092 Hameln, shipyard test drive 1989, original paint class 343, without black

The ten boats of the Hameln class were built as the first boats of the unit type . Their main job was to lay mines under threat. Therefore, the original name was mine attack boats , later they were classified as fast minesweepers . The Hameln was the first boat to enter service in 1989.

The boats could load 60 mines of different types compared to 30 mines on the predecessor boats of classes 340/341 . In addition, the boats received mechanical clearing gear and acoustic clearing buoys and they were able to tow magnetic hollow rods. The equipment also included a mine avoidance sonar .

For their own protection, they were given two 40 mm anti-aircraft guns that could be guided by a fire control radar . The PALIS situation display system, based on the Link 11 procedure , came on board for the tactical exchange of data with speed boats , which were intended to protect mine-laying operations . This gave the boats a considerable amount of guide means and surface weapons for the type of ship. With this equipment, they already proved themselves shortly after their commissioning during the initial phase of Operation South Flank 1990-91 in the Mediterranean.

After the end of the East-West conflict, the task of laying mines lost its importance. Therefore, all ten boats were rebuilt and rededicated. Five boats each were converted into mine-hunting boats of the Kulmbach class and into hollow-bar stilted boats of the Ensdorf class . With this, class 343 ceased to exist.

In the first decade of the 21st century, the Navy began replacing 40mm guns with new 27mm Navy Light Guns ( MLG ).

Mine hunting boats Frankenthal class (class 332)

Mine hunting drone penguin

As a replacement for the twelve minehunters of the Lindau class (class 331), ten minehunters of the new Frankenthal class were initially planned, and two more were ordered later. The Frankenthal was the first boat to enter service in 1992. These boats received modern mine-hunting equipment with a mine-hunting sonar and underwater drones of the penguin type . Since 2005, five boats have been converted to the more modern underwater drone Seefuchs . The boats also carry mine divers and the equipment they need.

Mine hunting boat Grömitz , class 332

The surface armament is simpler than that of the Hameln class and originally consisted of a 40 mm L / 70 gun on the forecastle. However, these weapons were replaced on all boats by a marine light gun (MLG) 27 in order to improve self-protection. Furthermore, two air defense systems FIM-92 Stinger (Fliegerfaust 2) are available for air defense. Link 11 and fire control radar are not available. At least two MG3 machine guns , three G36 rifles , three MP2 submachine guns and two P8 pistols , hand grenades and one single-barreled and one double-barreled signal pistol are carried on board for guard and security tasks.

Two of the twelve boats were decommissioned at the end of 2005 and sold to the United Arab Emirates .

Mine hunting boats Kulmbach class (class 333)

Kulmbach class boats

The five minehunters of the Kulmbach class were created by converting fast minesweepers of the Hameln class . During this conversion, the surface armament was retained; instead of the mine-clearing equipment, mine-hunting equipment was modernized compared to the Frankenthal class. The boats have, among other things, underwater drones of the Seefuchs type , which are equipped with a video camera and a sonar device. There are drones without explosive charges for the pure identification of the target and drones with explosive charges. The latter are directed to the target in order to destroy it by detonation.

All Kulmbach-class boats were to be decommissioned by the end of 2015. The commissioning of the mine-hunting boats Herten and Überherrn was extended. They served as a floating platform for recruiting for the Navy until June 30, 2016. From July 1, 2016, this task was taken over by the two remaining hollow rod steering boats (class 352) Pegnitz and Siegburg .

Ensdorf class minesweepers (class 352)

Hollow rod clearing device type seal

The five minesweepers of the Ensdorf class (class 352), also known as hollow rod diving boats , were also created by converting fast minesweeping boats of the Hameln class and replace six hollow rod diving boats of the Lindau class (class 351). Your task is to remotely control unmanned clearing boats. These seal- type vehicles with a water displacement of 98 tons essentially consist of a magnetic coil integrated into the hull for clearing magnetic mines, hence the name hollow rod. They also carry a sound buoy for clearing acoustic mines. Three to four seals are steered by a hollow rod boat. The boats of the Ensdorf class initially retained the surface armament (two 40 mm guns and two Stinger flying fists) and clearance equipment of the Hameln class, later they were equipped with MLG. You also have the Seefuchs mine-hunting drone .

Mine hunting boats of the Aydin class (class MHV 54-014)

On July 30, 1999, the Lürssen and Abeking & Rasmussen shipyards were commissioned by Turkey to build six boats, the value of which was $ 630 million.

The draft of the Turkish variant was based on the class 332, but with a number of technical changes, especially in the drive and mine-hunting equipment. In detail, the design is characterized by the following features:

  • Crew: 53 men including 6 officers,
  • Speed: 14 kn,
  • Propulsion: 2 × MTU 8V 396 TB84 diesel engines, 2 × Voith-Schneider propellers, 2 × Schottel bow thrusters with Combimac electric motors ,
  • Above water armament: 1 × Otobreda 30 mm gun , 2 × 12.7 mm machine gun ,
  • Underwater armament: 2 × ECA PAP 104 Mk. 5 mine-hunting drone, 1 × Oropesa mechanical search gear,
  • Mission control system : Alenia Marconi Nautis-M,
  • Sensors: 1 × KH 1007 navigation radar (I-band), 1 × Thomson Marconi type 2093, VDS, active high-frequency mine hunting sonar.


GermanyGermany (naval war flag) Germany

The boats in turn received the names of German cities. The current home port of the MJ and HL boats is Kiel , where they belong to the 3rd minesweeping squadron and the 5th minesweeping squadron .

The first construction lot comprised the ten boats of class 343. They were not taken out of service for conversion.

Identifier Surname Callsign Shipyard Launch In service Conversion to
Off-duty Whereabouts
M1090 Pegnitz DRFT Lürssen March 13, 1989 March 8, 1990 352 active (troop recruiting platform)
M1091 Kulmbach DRFU Abeking & Rasmussen June 15, 1989 May 23, 1990 333 March 31, 2012 off-duty
M1092 Hamelin DRFO Lürssen March 15, 1988 June 29, 1989 352 December 11, 2014 off-duty
M1093 Auerbach / Upper Palatinate DRFR Lürssen June 18, 1990 May 7, 1991 352 17th December 2015 off-duty
M1094 Ensdorf DRFN Lürssen December 8, 1989 October 16, 1990 352 July 31, 2014 Training hulk in Parow
M1095 Overriding DRFS Abeking & Rasmussen August 30, 1988 September 19, 1989 333 June 30, 2016 off-duty
M1096 Passau DRFJ Abeking & Rasmussen March 1, 1990 18th December 1990 333 September 27, 2013 off-duty
M1097 Laboe DRFK Kröger shipyard September 13, 1988 December 7, 1989 333 March 28, 2012 off-duty
M1098 Siegburg DRFL Kröger shipyard April 14, 1989 July 26, 1990 352 active (troop recruiting platform)
M1099 Herten DRFP Kröger shipyard December 22, 1989 March 26, 1991 333 June 30, 2016 off-duty

The second construction lot initially comprised ten boats and finally twelve boats of class 332. The two boats subsequently commissioned are the first two in the following overview due to their lower identification. They are the only ones of the 22 boats to have names that already existed in the previous Lindau class .

Identifier Surname Callsign Shipyard Launch In service Conversion to
Off-duty Whereabouts
M1058 Fulda DRFC Abeking & Rasmussen September 29, 1997 June 16, 1998 active
M1059 Weilheim DRFD Lürssen February 26, 1998 November 26, 1998 active
M1060 Pastures DRES Abeking & Rasmussen May 14, 1992 March 3, 1993 2005 to United Arab Emirates , Al Hasbah (M01)
M1061 Rottweil DRET Kröger shipyard March 12, 1992 July 7, 1993 MT boat active as a mine diver rescue boat
M1062 Sulzbach-Rosenberg DREU Lürssen April 27, 1995 January 23, 1996 active
M1063 Bad Bevensen DREV Lürssen January 21, 1993 December 9, 1993 active
M1064 Groemitz DREW Kröger shipyard April 29, 1993 23rd August 1994 active
M1065 Dillingen DREX Abeking & Rasmussen May 26, 1994 April 25, 1995 active
M1066 Frankenthal DREY Lürssen March 6, 1992 December 16, 1992 2005 to United Arab Emirates , Al Murjan (M02)
M1067 Bad Rappenau THIRD Abeking & Rasmussen 3rd June 1993 April 19, 1994 MT boat active as a mine diver mission boat
M1068 Dates DRFA Lürssen January 27, 1994 December 8, 1994 active
M1069 Homburg DRFB Kröger shipyard April 21, 1994 September 26, 1995 active

TurkeyTurkey Turkey

The first boat of the Turkish mine hunters, known as the Aydin class , was built at A&R, while the others were built on site at the naval shipyard in Istanbul . The ships are stationed at the naval base in Erdek on the south bank of the Marmara Sea and belong to the 1st Mine Hunting and Minesweeping Flotilla (Turkish: 1st Arama Tarama Filottilası Komutanlığı ).

Identifier Surname Callsign Keel laying Launch In service Off-duty Whereabouts
M265 Alanya November 20, 2000 March 21, 2003 July 26, 2005 active
M266 Amasra July 25, 2001 May 10, 2004 July 26, 2005 active
M267 Ayvalık June 3, 2002 July 26, 2005 June 22, 2007 active
M268 Akçakoca July 24, 2003 September 27, 2006 January 24, 2008 active
M269 Anamur February 23, 2004 September 17, 2007 October 10, 2008 active
M270 Akçay July 26, 2005 October 27, 2008 December 15, 2009 active

United Arab EmiratesUnited Arab Emirates United Arab Emirates

In 2006 the UAE acquired two formerly German class 332 mine hunters. They were put into service on June 28, 2006, while still in Germany, by the Gulf State's navy . Both boats were then overhauled at the Neue Jadewerft in Wilhelmshaven before they were shipped to Abu Dhabi . The Al Hasbah reached their new home in August 2006, and the Al Murjan followed in the autumn of the same year. Before the handover, the future crews completed a training session in Germany.

The Al Hasbah is called A6QA. She is registered with the ITU as Alqanesah Al Hasba (M01) . The Al Murjan is at the ITU under the name of Al Marjan (M02) registered with the call sign A6QB.

See also


Web links

Commons : Kulmbach class  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Commons : Ensdorf class  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Peter Grundmann: Conversion of minesweepers. In: Marineforum 4-1996 , p. 12ff
  2. ^ Farewell to the "Kulmbach" . March 31, 2012. Retrieved April 2, 2012.
  3. Sponsorship of the hollow rod boat . Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  4. Auerbach: End of a great friendship “at sea” . Retrieved December 18, 2015.
  5. ^ Training ship "Ensdorf" . December 31, 2014. Accessed May 24, 2015.
  6. ^ Naval Fellowship Laboe News . Archived from the original on June 10, 2012. Retrieved on April 2, 2012.
  7. Specification of the itu