German Patrol Force

John A Silkstone

German Patrol Force

Extended Description
FALKE One of a class of ten fast attack craft constructed for the German Navy from 1972, armed with the very effective combination of automatic radar-controlled 76mm (3in) guns and Exocet sea-skimming missiles.

The German S 61/Albatross-class Type 143 FAC, with its round-bilge hull form and composite construction, was based on the T 57 design evolved by one of the recognised experts in the field, Lurssen. The T 57 was to become one of the most successful of its type, being taken up in slightly different forms by Spain and Turkey; a total of 39 were produced in all. The Falke (ex-S 62; P 6112) was the second unit to be constructed for the German Navy, and was built by Lurssen (who constructed most of them). Launched on 21 March 1974, she was completed in April 1976. Falke was due to remain in service until 2005.

The German Type 143s were designed to be effective against major surface craft at long range and against small craft at short range, and as a result were armed with what was certainly one of the best surface-to-surface missiles of the day, the French Exocet MM-38, effective to 42km and with a 150kg warhead, and with the OTO-Melara 76mm (3in) automatic dual-purpose gun, capable of a cyclic rate of fire of 85 rounds per minute and effective out to about ten kilometres. They were also fitted with two 533mm (21 in) torpedo tubes and carried Seal wire-guided torpedoes.

Type: Fast attack craft
Machinery: 4-shaft, 4 MTU 16V956 diesels producing 18,0006hp
Dimensions (overall): Length, 57.5m (188.75ft); beam, 8m (26.25ft)
Displacement: 380t standard; 394t deep load
Draught: 2.5m (8.25ft)
Complement: 40

During the Second World War, the Kriegsnsarine operated S-Boats (the British called them E-Boats) with considerable success: almost all of them were designed and built by Lurssen, which acquired a very valuable body of experience in the process. Post war, not surprisingly, the reconstituted German Navy looked to the same source for a class of vessels known as the Type 140/141, similar in character but rather bigger, at around 200 tons, than the S-Boats, and the first of them, Jaguar, was launched in June 1957. Lightly armed, with two 40mm Bofors and four torpedo tubes, they were fast and manoeuvrable and proved very popular. After about two decades of set-vice. 20 of the 34-strong class were transferred to Greece and Turkey. They were joined by ten Type 142s, built on the sane hull but with different superstructure, many of which also went to Turkey on being decommissioned in the 1980s. In 1972, the first of 20 steel-hulled, 265-ton Type 148s essentially the French Combattante class, which was itself a copy of a Ltirssen design was laid down, to be joined the following year by the first of the Type J43s. In the early 1980s. work started on ten modified but very similar boats, with their torpedo tubes deleted and with a point-defence missile system replacing the after 76mm (3in) gun.
Range at 30 knots FALKE 600 miles

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