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Mittlere Unterstützungseinheit schwimmende Einheiten (MUsE)

The Mittlere Unterstützungseinheit schwimmende Einheiten (MUsE - Medium Support Floating Units) is the successor to Kl.404 ("Elbe"), which has worked or is still working very successfully as a tender to support submarines, minesweepers and speedboats. The Kl.404 was intended for use in the Baltic Sea. The scenario for the MUsE would be worldwide deployments, and many technical parameters have also changed.

For this purpose, these tenders each have a "SUG" (system support group) on board, which provides the assigned units with management, maintenance and repair capacities. Class 404 has not yet reached the end of its service life, but a successor would be initiated to ensure a "painless" transition in 8-10 years. An "MUeS" could simply be an enlarged Elbe concept (on a modern shell), which, for example, is simply in the superstructure around a helicopter hangar for 1-3 flying subsystems and in the area around the possibility of floating subsystems (up to roughly footprint 2x40'- Container - so LCVP, CB, MRD ...) is supplemented.

The service life of the tenders is currently fixed until the end of the 2020s. It is beyond doubt that the Navy also need units of this type, adapted to the current operational requirements. By 2019 the planning of the Middle Support Unit, floating units (MUsE), as the successor to the Tender Class 404, was in the analysis phase. The navy's requirement is that all current and future boat classes can be supported. This included, for example, the transverse supply with liquids, higher stocks for handing over and corresponding storage capacities for provisions and ammunition be raised. Since the management and communication tools are already available today for the future range of tasks, they will be easily adapted to the current state of the art.

Due to the possibility of working as a single ship, self-defense skills should also be improved. The crew strength will be based on that of today's tenders. Embarkation capacities for CTG staffs or deployment teams of special forces should be kept available to a greater extent than before. In order to have enough reserves for embarked staffs, specialized and special forces, a high degree of automation should also be achieved at the MUsE. Thus, the challenges of the future in the support squadron and on board the tenders have been recognized and addressed despite the high operational load.

Service on board a tender is not always in the spotlight of the public, the flotilla or the naval command. And yet one encounters the not exclusively logistical "workhorses" of the Flotilla 1 operating in the background on many oceans - and not just in coastal waters. The tenders as a pure support and leadership platform certainly have no future in an intense threat environment. In more distant and less competitive areas, however, they would be particularly valuable assets in connection with subsystems of reconnaissance and impact and can accordingly be designed as a multifunctional platform with high sea endurance.

The MUsE can achieve modularity to the same extent as a smaller unit, since the module size is on a relatively compact level for practical reasons anyway (20/40 foot container, for example). If, however, adaptation work is necessary that goes beyond the modularity, it may become easier and more cost-effective for smaller units due to the lower complexity and greater load reserves of the ship infrastructure, the latter also due to lower requirements for planning and implementation in the shipyard. Since every adjustment work is accompanied by corresponding downtime, smaller units whose area of ??responsibility is more specialized will be more willing to accept the corresponding losses. But small units have a poorer sea endurance and, due to a lack of redundancies etc., cannot operate autonomously as long as larger ones.

The Fassmer shipyard from Berne, Lower Saxony, combines its naval shipbuilding activities in the three divisions of shipbuilding, lifeboat construction and plant construction under the “Fassmer Defense” brand. After numerous discussions with international marine customers, Fassmer developed a so-called Multi Purpose Vessel (MPV) for lengths between 70 and 120 meters. In the largest variant, such a ship would have two helicopter decks and a hangar that can accommodate two heavy-duty CH-53 K helicopters. At the moment this pattern is only flown by the US Marine Corps. In the Bundeswehr, the CH-53 K is one of the two competitors for the procurement of a heavy transport helicopter. According to Fassmer's ideas, an MPV 120 would have a permanent crew of around 40 people, which can be increased to 240 if necessary. The ship could therefore also be used for logistical tasks, as a hospital at sea or as a tender.

The advantages of a well deck are obvious, but the disadvantages are also known. The ship is thus significantly more complex, has to be proportionally larger and is subject to some design disadvantages, with corresponding additional costs in acquisition and maintenance. In the first place of the list of requirements (and the real operations) are still supply and management, and there this additional effort makes no sense, because the alternatives are more than just useful, especially in the mine hunting area.

The graphical size comparison (from PIZ Marine) EGV - MBU (MUsE) - Tender from the current ESuT, suggests ~155m in length compared to the 100 meters of the tender and the 170m of the EGV. In general, it looks pretty much like a slightly lower (superstructure and side wall) and minimally compressed (by the said ~ 20m) EGV. In terms of size, it really has almost nothing to do with today's tenders. That is a huge ship in comparison.

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Page last modified: 30-06-2021 12:04:55 ZULU