German Navy Combat Support Vessel Frankfurt am Main Arrives at German Naval Yards Kiel for iMERZ Integration

The German Navy combat support vessel Frankfurt am Main (A 1412) has arrived at the German Naval Yards facility in Kiel on Feb. 17 for preparations for the deployment of the integrated Naval Rescue Centre (iMERZ).

New cranes and a launching device for the tenders are also to be integrated on the vessel which belongs to the largest ship class in the German Navy.

The construction of the “iMERZ” project was launched in September 2019 and demonstrates the good cooperation between shipyard, supplier industry, and the German Navy.

“This closeness and ability to cooperate is the strength of German naval surface shipbuilding and leads to new, innovative ideas”, said Jörg Herwig, Managing Director of German Naval Yards Kiel.

The “iMERZ” production is on schedule and is currently entering the “hot phase”, according to Project Manager Bernd Wittorf of German Naval Yards Kiel.

The shipbuilding work is nearing completion and after the conservation work, the equipment will be installed. The medical equipment is supplied by Zeppelin Mobile Systeme Gmbh (ZMS) from the Lake Constance region. It shows once again that complex naval projects like the “iMERZ” can only be realized together with specialized suppliers from all over Germany.

Until 2015, a container-based Rescue Centre had been installed on the “Frankfurt am Main”. This was destroyed by a fire in 2015. With the refitting on the “Frankfurt am Main” Rescue Centre, the ship will then have a complete hospital. The “iMERZ” consists of an integrated infirmary, two operating rooms, an X-ray room, a dental technology department, and various laboratories to ensure the operational readiness of the German Navy at sea.

Frankfurt am Main (A 1412) is the second Type 702 Berlin-class replenishment ship of the German Navy (Deutsche Marine).

The vessel was laid at Kiel by the Flensburger Schiffbau-Gesellschaft and christened on January 5, 2001, by Frankfurt Mayor Petra Roth. The vessel was then moved to Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft (HDW) facility in Kiel, where the final equipment integration was performed.

The commissioning of the vessel took place on May 27, 2002. Her first home port was Kiel, and since September 26, 2012 she has been based at the Heppenser Groden naval base in Wilhelmshaven.

The Berlin-class ships are the largest vessels of the German Navy. In German, this type of ship is called Einsatzgruppenversorger which can be translated as “task force supplier” though the official translation in English is “combat support ship”.

The three Berlin-class vessels are intended to support German naval units away from their home ports. The ships carry fuel, provisions, ammunition and other matériel and also provide medical services.

General Specifications:

• Length: 173.7 m (569 ft 11 in)
• Beam: 24 m (78 ft 9 in)
• Displacement: 20,240 tonnes
• Power Plant: Two MAN Diesel 12V 32/40 diesel-engines delivering 5,340 kW each; Two reduction gears, two four-bladed controllable pitch propellers (CPP) and one bow thruster.
• Speed: 20 kn (37 km/h)
• Capacity: 9330 tonnes of fuel oil, aviation fuel, and fresh water
• Cargo space: 550 tonnes of mixed cargo
• Armament: Four MLG 27 mm autocannon, Stinger MANPADS
• Aircraft: Two 10-tonne helicopters (Sea King or NH90)
• Crew: 139 (+ 94), plus hospital capacity for 43 patients

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