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Flyvefisken-class STANFLEX 300 ships

The RDN has replaced six fast attack craft, eight patrol craft and eight MCMVs by a single class of 14 multi-role vessels, known as the SF 300 Flyvefisken-class [aka Fliege Fissken]. The ships are 54 m (177 ft) in length and 9 m (29.5 ft) in beam, displace 320-485 tons depending on configuration, and are capable of 30 knots (15 m/s). Basic crew size is 19, with a maximum of 29, depending on specific mission systems. Each ship has four modular payload bays and allows the following mission variants: surface attack; antisubmarine warfare (ASW); mine countermeasures (MCM); minelayer; patrol/surveillance; and pollution control.

This multi-role vessel of non-magnetic FRP sandwich construction has been the lead platform for application of the Standard Flex concept, and it can be fitted for any role and mission offered by selecting an appropriate combination of the various types of modules in the Royal Danish Navy's inventory. Depending on the role the displacement varies from 320 tonnes lightweight to about 500 tonnes full load. An open architecture C4I-system is the electronic backbone connecting all permanently fitted and containerised systems. CODAG propulsion provides a max speed of 30 kts, and an additional hydraulic system offers speed up to 8 kts for silent MCM operations.

Each of these units can be (re)configured at short notice for different roles, simply by installing the right combination of standard-size equipment containers in the four positions (one forward, three aft) around which the SF 300 design has been wrapped. Changing a container can be done by standard civilian cranes found in most ports, and this has been demonstrated to take less than 30 minutes. In one test, carried out early in 1999 on behalf of the US Coast Guard in Denmark's Korsoer Naval Base, a NATO SeaSparrow Missile container was taken out and put back in again in only eight minutes, RDN officers claimed.

The StanFlex program began as a feasibility study in 1982; project definition followed in 1983, and funds for seven ships were approved in 1984. From 1989 through 1996, the RDN took delivery of fourteen Flyvefisken class MRVs. The Flyvefisken class was purposely built as multi-purpose ships capable of deploying specific mission packages through the Standard Flex (STANFLEX) concept. The STANFLEX concept grew out of the necessity of replacing large numbers of smaller mission specific ships with lesser numbers of MRVs as the RDN began reducing its surface fleet in the 1980s.

STANFLEX called for the development of mission specific modules that could be interchanged on a common platform to in affect change the mission and capabilities of an individual ship. This concept enabled the RDN to reduce a fleet of eight Fast Attack Craft (FAC), eight patrol boats and eight mine countermeasures vessels (MCMVs) (24 total units) with a force of only fourteen MRVs that could be adapted for specific missions. Under the STANFLEX concept, up to 15 different modules were developed which range in capabilities from anti-air defense (AAW), anti-surface warfare (ASuW), anti-submarine warfare (ASW), electronic warfare (EW), mine countermeasures (MCM) as well as a myriad of non-combatant capabilities. Unfortunately, the crew often needs a refresher course to be able to use the new modules efficiently.

Naval Team Denmark is the industrial group behind the RDN's Stanflex concept. It comprises the following companies: Danyard and Aarhus Flydedok (shipyards); Lyngso Marine (ship control and surveillance systems); TERMA Elektronik AS (C3 systems, soft-kill weapon system SKWS); TERMA Industries Grenaa AS (missile launchers); Infocom (communications); Monberg & Thorsen (container systems); DESMI (pumps & hydraulics); Logimatic (integrated logistic support systems); DABO (ships furnishings); Cubic-Modulsystem (switchboards and control panels); Danish Aerotech (decoy and Stinger launchers); Reson (sonar systems); Nordic Defence Industries (mine disposal charges); EIVA (hydrographic equipment).

The Danish Navy has put into service over 100 Stanflex mission modules. Each module includes standard interfaces and connections for mounting, local area network, video, degaussing, interior communications, weapons fire control and cooling water. Modules can be changed in 1 hour pierside, using standard cranes and tools. The ship's crew is trained on most module systems, but specialty crews are used for missions such as MCM and ASW. Ship upgrades are accomplished by module upgrades. Industry teams involved with the U.S. Navy's Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) program have looked closely at the Stanflex 300 approach.

The MK-48/MK-56 Seasparrow Vertical Launch Systems delivers, from limited shipboard space, a hemispherical, 360umbrella of effective protection against airborne threats. The NATO Seasparrow missile(RIM-7VL) has proven itself against a broad spectrum of airborne threats, including subsonic and supersonic missiles. The new DP-48 (Dual Pack) was contracted for by the Royal Danish Navy. In the same Mod 3Module that housed six Seasparrow missiles, twelve Evolved Seasparrow Missiles are now carried.

From 24 April to 4 May 1995 Flyvefisken took part in the RDN-led, eight-nation, 60-ship mine warfare exercise "Blue Harrier" in the Western Baltic, Danish Straits and Kattegat. The exercise marked the first time that the modular Stanflex 300 MCM concept (employing two remotely-controlled MRD minehunting drones each equipped with a Thomson Sintra Activites Sous-Marines TSM 2054 towed sidescan sonar) was operationally used in a large NATO exercise. The ship was then subjected to a Minewarfare Operational Sea Training (MOST) work-up period at Ostend, Belgium, during the spring of 1996. It was intended Flyvefisken will join NATO's Standing Naval Force Minesweepers (STANAVFORMIN) during August, September and October of 1996, which will be her first operational deployment.

In 1999 1999 the Danish Naval Materiel Command (NMC) contracted to purchase the Boeing Advanced Harpoon Weapon Control System (AHWCS). The NMC also has committed to upgrade its Harpoon Block IC missiles to the Block II configuration. The combination of Harpoon Block II and AHWCS will provide Danish naval forces with the latest anti-ship capability and the most modern Harpoon weapon system available. Denmark is one of 25 countries with Harpoon in its inventory. The NMC is one of the first customers to buy the new AHWCS, which Denmark will deploy aboard its Fliege Fissken-class Stanflex ships. The NMC has been involved in technical oversight for development of AHWCS, along with the U.S. Navy and the Canadian Navy.

In 2001 the Royal Danish Navy launched a mid-life update program for the command, control and communications information (C31) system fitted aboard its Flyvefisken-class Standard Flex 300 multirole surface combatants. Three Danish companies, namely Terma A/S, Systematic and Infocom Systems, are participating in the technology refresh program under contract to the Naval Material Command. The C31 update program was expected to run for about five years.

By 2006 the RDN was operating eleven (to be reduced to 10 in 2007) of the Flyvefisken class MRVs that were commissioned from 1989 through 1996. The ten remaining vessels will more than likely be replaced by similar MRVs not later than 2022. As of 2010 four units were set to perform the MCM role.

Builder Danyard A/S
Length 54 meters / 176 feet
Beam 9 meters
Draft 2.5
Displacement 320 tons
Speed 30 knots
Crew 19-29 (dependant on role)
Propulsion 1 x General Electric LM 500 gas turbine, 5,450hp, 2 x MTU 16V396 TB94 diesels, 5,800hp, 1 x GM 12V-71 diesel, 500hp
Gun 1 x 76mm Oto Melara Super Rapid
SAM Mk 48 mod 3 vertical launcher for six SeaSparrow missiles
Command System / Fire Control Saab / Terma Elektronik, Saab 9LV mk3
Sonar Thales 2054 side scan sonar
Mines 60 (mine laying role)

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