Mass protection system to be mounted on German minehunters
Immediate operational requirement for UNIFIL deployment
The German Navy has contracted with Rheinmetall Defence to supply Mass naval protection systems for two of its minehunter vessels. Mass stands for "Multi Ammunition Softkill System". Under an immediate operational requirement order, one MJ 333-class vessel and one HL 352-class vessel are to be equipped with a Mass two-launcher configuration system with integrated detection unit by May 2008. The total order is worth some €10 million.
Following successful sea trials, the German Ministry of Defence turned to Rheinmetall in 2007 to have four of its F123-class frigates immediately equipped with this technology prior to deploying to the Eastern Mediterranean. Thus far, three frigates of this class have been equipped with the four-launcher configuration of Mass, teamed with the electronic warfare system and the MSP 500 multi-sensor platform.
Superior naval force protection with Mass
Guided missiles pose an increasing threat to civilian and naval shipping. Mass protects ships from attacks by advanced, sensor-guided missiles on the high seas and in coastal zones as well as from asymmetric threats. The system fires decoy rounds which distract and seduce an incoming missile's target seeking system.
Fully automatic, the Mass decoy system offers substantial tactical, operational and logistical advantages, and can be installed on ships of all types. It can be integrated into any command and control system, but also operated on a stand-alone basis. Programmable and omni-spectral, the system's innovative ammunition assures protection in all relevant wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum (UV, EO, laser, infrared and radar).
Mass with integrated detection unit
In this order Mass is combined with an integrated detection unit (Mass_ISS – Integrated Sensor Suite). The detection unit features built-in sensors for detecting radar and laser threats, including a laser warner receiver (NLWS), which is also connected to the onboard "Multi Sensor Platform MSP 500", an electro-optical (EO) sensor system made by Rheinmetall.
Moreover, the existing radar warner receiver (equipped with a classifier for electronic support measurement) will be replaced by a state-of-the-art electronic support measures system, the SME 100. Integrated by Rheinmetall Defence in cooperation with Saab Avitronics, this system makes it possible not just to recognize an approaching target, but to classify and, in best-case scenarios, to identify it by category and type.
Since the product's launch in 2003, Rheinmetall Defence has booked orders for Mass from the navies of seven nations – a total of 96 launchers for 13 different classes of vessels ranging in size from patrol boats and minehunters to corvettes, and frigates. The navies of Germany (K130 corvettes), Finland (SQUADRON 2000), Norway (SKJOLD patrol boats), Sweden (Visby, Göteborg and Malmö-class vessels), the United Arab Emirates (Baynunah programme), Oman (Khareef-class vessels) as well as one other country in the Middle East have all successfully introduced Mass technology.
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