Iver Huitfeldt-class frigate

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The Iver Huitfeldt class is a three-ship class of air defence frigates that entered service with the Royal Danish Navy in 2012 and 2013.[8][9][10]

Danish frigate KDM Niels Juel (F363) underway in the Red Sea on 15 April 2019 (190415-N-IL409-0016).JPG
HDMS Niels Juel underway in Red Sea on 15 April 2019.
Class overview
Operators Royal Danish Navy[4]
Preceded byNiels Juel-class corvette[3]
SubclassesType 31 frigate
CostUS$325 million per ship[1][2]
In commission2012–present
General characteristics
TypeAir defence frigate
Displacement6,645 t (6,540 long tons) (full load)
Length138.7 m (455 ft 1 in)
Beam19.75 m (64 ft 10 in)
Draft5.3 m (17 ft 5 in)
Speed30 knots (56 km/h; 35 mph)
Range9,000 nmi (17,000 km; 10,000 mi) at 18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph)[6]
Sensors and
processing systems
  • 1 Thales Nederland SMART-L long-range air and surface surveillance radar
  • 1 Thales Nederland APAR air and surface search, tracking and guidance radar (I band)
  • 1 Terma SCANTER 6000 surveillance and helicopter guidance radar
  • Atlas ASO 94 hull mounted sonar
  • 2 Saab CEROS 200 fire control radars
  • ES-3701 Tactical Radar Electronic Support Measures (ESM)
Electronic warfare
& decoys
Aircraft carried1 × MH-60R
Aviation facilitiesAft helicopter deck and hangar


The class is built on the experience gained from the Absalon-class frigates, and by reusing the basic hull design of the Absalon class the Royal Danish Navy have been able to construct the Iver Huitfeldt class considerably cheaper than comparable ships.[11]

HDMS Iver Huitfeldt underway on 9 June 2018

The frigates are compatible with the Royal Danish Navy's StanFlex modular mission payload system used in the Absalons, and are designed with slots for six modules. Each of the four StanFlex positions on the missile deck is able to accommodate either the Mark 141 8-cell Harpoon launcher module, or the 12-cell Mark 56 ESSM VLS.[12] Peter Willemoes passed the British Flag Officer Sea Training test in 2015.[13]

While the Absalon-class ships are primarily designed for command, support and ASW roles, with a large ro-ro deck, the three new Iver Huitfeldt-class frigates are equipped for an air defence role with Standard Missiles, and the potential to use Tomahawk cruise missiles,[14] a first for the Royal Danish Navy.

The ships were constructed in blocks in Estonia and Lithuania. These blocks were then towed to the Odense Steel Shipyard where they were assembled.[5]

Anti-air warfareEdit

HDMS Peter Willemoes entering Copenhagen on 18 August 2012

Most of the weapons for the three ships were reused from the previous Niels Juel-class corvettes and the Flyvefisken-class patrol vessels. Other components were reused as well to keep the cost at a minimum.

These ships share their anti-air warfare suite with the Royal Netherlands Navy's De Zeven Provinciën-class frigates and the German Navy's Sachsen-class frigates. The sensors of this suite include the long range surveillance radar SMART-L (passive electronically scanned array) and the multi-function radar APAR active electronically scanned array. The SMART-L and APAR are highly complementary, in the sense that SMART-L is a L band radar providing very long range surveillance while APAR is an I band radar providing precise target tracking, a highly capable horizon search capability, and missile guidance using the Interrupted Continuous Wave Illumination (ICWI) technique, thus allowing guidance of 32 semi-active radar homing missiles in flight simultaneously, including 16 in the terminal guidance phase.[15] The primary anti-air weapons are the point defence Evolved Sea Sparrow missile[16] and the area defence SM-2 IIIA. The Mk 41 Vertical Launch System is used to house and launch these missiles. Depending on the number of Harpoon launchers installed, up to 24 Evolved Sea Sparrow missile and 32 SM-2 IIIA or SM-6 may be carried.

List of shipsEdit

Name Number Laid Down Launched Commissioned Status Badge
Iver Huitfeldt F361 June 2008 March 2010 January 2011 In service  
Peter Willemoes F362 March 2009 December 2010 June 2011 In service  
Niels Juel F363 December 2009 December 2010 November 2011 In service  

Export bidsEdit


The builder's successor, OMT, suggested the type for the Procurement programme of the Royal Australian Navy's frigates, but built in Australia and modified for anti-submarine warfare.[17] (along with the Royal New Zealand Navy as they currently operate modified Anzac-class frigates similar to those of the Royal Australian Navy). However, OMT was not among the three warship designers shortlisted by Australia for the SEA 5000 frigate program in April 2016.


The Iver Huitfeldt-class frigate was a contender in the Canadian Single Class Surface Combatant Project.[4] However, it has been claimed that due to concerns over the fairness of the bidding process, two European shipbuilders, possibly Germany's ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems and Odense Maritime Technology, declined to submit bids.[18]

United KingdomEdit

In late May 2018 the consortium of Babcock International, BMT Group and Thales Group announced the "Arrowhead 140" design, based on the hull of the Iver Huitfeldt-class frigates, for the Royal Navy Type 31e frigate programme.[19] It was announced on 12 September 2019 that the Arrowhead 140 design had been selected for the Type 31 frigate.[20][21][22]


In March 2019 a variant of Denmark's Iver Huitfeldt class emerged as a front-runner for the Indonesian Navy's US$720 million two-frigate acquisition programme according to Jane's.[23] The Indonesian Navy expected to purchase two Iver Huitfeldt-class frigates with a budget plan of US$ 720 million for its MEF Phase 3 in 2020–2024. Indonesian officials and Ministry of Defense officials held multiple meetings about the ships. By 14 March 2019 there were advanced discussion between the Indonesian Ministry of Defense and Odense Maritime Technology about the technical issues and potential cooperation. Denmark offered a scheme of "transfer of technology" (ToT) to Indonesia, such as modular frigate building designed by BUMN PT PAL.[23]

In February 2020, a defense delegation from Indonesia visited Denmark, and toured Niels Juel. According to Indonesian media, the deputy of the Indonesian Ministry of Defense Sakti Wahyu Trenggono said in March that Indonesia's PT PAL was tasked to develop a design for two ships over five years, for Rp1.1 trillion (or USD720 million) in collaboration with Denmark, for the Indonesian Navy.[24][25] On 30 April, representatives from the Indonesian Ministry of Defense, PT PAL shipbuilders and PT Sinar Kokoh Persada, an Indonesian agent for the Danish Odense Maritime Technology (OMT) company, had agreed to an opening contract for the procurement of the Danish frigate. Points in the contract include workshare arrangements that will be made after the effective (actual) contract can be realized.[26] On 16 September 2021, Indonesia signed a contract with Babcock for the purchase of the Type 31 frigate design license, which based on the Iver Huitfeldt design, in order to construct 2 frigates locally in Indonesia.[27]

See alsoEdit

Similar shipsEdit


  1. ^ Cavas, Christopher (21 November 2014). "Sleek, modern and built on a budget – Denmark's latest frigate". Intercepts. Defense News. Archived from the original on 15 January 2016. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
  2. ^ Hammes, Thomas (6 August 2013). "Getting Our Money's Worth: LCS vs Iver Huitfeldt-Class". War on the Rocks.
  3. ^ "Store fregatter på vej". Forsvaret.dk (in Danish). 11 February 2008. Archived from the original on 14 May 2014.
  4. ^ a b Pryce, Paul (13 November 2013). "The Future of Canada's Navy". RealClearDefense. Retrieved 20 March 2014.
  5. ^ a b c d Balsved, Johnny (1 February 2008). "Produktionsstart på søværnets nye fregatter". navalhistory.dk (in Danish). Retrieved 15 April 2021.
  6. ^ "The Iver Huifeldt Class: Modular Frigates for an Uncertain Future". Odense Maritime Technology. Retrieved 15 April 2021.
  7. ^ Muradian, Vago (29 November 2016). "Design Philosophy of Denmark's Iver Huitfeldt-Class Frigates". Defense & Aerospace Report.
  8. ^ "Danish frigate program" (PDF). Danish Defence Acquisition and Logistics Organization. Retrieved 5 September 2019.
  9. ^ "Nye fregatter". forsvaret.dk (in Danish). Archived from the original on 2 April 2009.
  10. ^ "An Overview of Current, On-Going Danish Naval Projects 2005–2009 Projekt Patruljeskib – the Iver Huitfeld class Patrol Ship/Future Frigate". Canadian American Strategic Review. July 2008. Archived from the original on 15 April 2013. Euphemisms for 'frigate' have become the norm in Denmark – the frigate-sized Thetis class OPVs were dubbed Inspektionsskib and Absalon class support ships will never be called Transport Frigates in official use. However, it is hard to see the planned powerful, heavily-armed Patruljeskib as anything other than frigates.
  11. ^ Brøndum, Christian (6 March 2009). "Skibe til hvad som helst hvor som helst". Berlingske (in Danish). Retrieved 15 April 2021.
  12. ^ Wertheim, Eric, ed. (2007). The Naval Institute Guide to Combat Fleets of the World: Their Ships, Aircraft, and Systems (15th ed.). Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. p. 153. ISBN 978-1-59114-955-2. OCLC 140283156.
  13. ^ "Willemoes i superligaen". Danish Defence. 20 May 2015. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  14. ^ Article in July 2008 issue of Defence Technology International describes new frigates
  15. ^ "Live firing tests rewrite the guiding principles", Jane's Navy International, October 2005
  16. ^ "Video: Thales Active Phased Array Radar excels in ESSM firings from new Danish Frigate". navyrecognition.com. 1 February 2014. Retrieved 15 April 2021.
  17. ^ Stewart, Cameron (17 March 2016). "Navy frigates in a $30bn race to the future". The Australian. Retrieved 25 March 2016.
  18. ^ Pugliese, David (5 December 2017). "Liberals reject warship proposal that companies said would save taxpayers as much as $32B". National Post. Retrieved 5 December 2017.
  19. ^ Allison, George (31 May 2018). "Babcock launches 'Team 31', selects Arrowhead 140 design for Type 31e frigate competition". UK Defence Journal. Retrieved 15 April 2021.
  20. ^ Tovey, Alan (24 August 2019). "Babcock set to build new cut-price frigates and weaken BAE shipbuilding monopoly". Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 26 August 2019.
  21. ^ Pfeifer, Sylvia; Payne, Sebastian & Dickie, Mure (12 September 2019). "Babcock group wins contract to build Royal Navy frigates". Financial Times. London and Edinburgh. Retrieved 12 September 2019.
  22. ^ "Design of new Type 31 frigates selected". Royal Navy. 12 September 2019. Retrieved 12 September 2019.
  23. ^ a b Rahmat, Ridzwan (12 March 2019). "Indonesia leans towards Iver Huitfeldt class for frigate acquisition". Jane's Navy International. Retrieved 21 September 2019.
  24. ^ Gunawan, Deden. "Bicara Industri Pertahanan, Wamenhan: Harusnya Tak Rugi". detiknews (in Indonesian). Retrieved 14 June 2020.
  25. ^ "Indonesia Looking at Iver Huitfeldt-class Frigate to Boost TNI-AL's Blue Water Force". Naval News. 9 June 2020. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
  26. ^ "Jelang Pembangunan Unit Perdana Frigat Iver Huitfeldt, Kemhan, PT PAL dan Prinsipal Atur Soal Workshare". Indomiliter.com. 13 June 2020. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
  27. ^ "Babcock sells first new frigate design licence to Indonesia". Babcock International. 16 September 2021. Retrieved 12 May 2022.

External linksEdit