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German Navy Frigate Calls to Dublin Port Following Exercise in Swedish Waters

31st May 2019
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The German Navy frigate FGS Augsburg (left) recently took part in exercises involving rocket shooting in waters near Sundsvall, Sweden. Also involved is the corvette, FGS Erfurt auf dem. The German Navy frigate FGS Augsburg (left) recently took part in exercises involving rocket shooting in waters near Sundsvall, Sweden. Also involved is the corvette, FGS Erfurt auf dem. Photo: German Navy / Bundeswehr -facebook

A German Navy frigate which carried out exercises in Swedish waters has arrived in Dublin Port and will remain docked during the June Bank Holiday weekend, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The 'Bremen' 122 class frigate FGS Augsburg displacing 3,680 tonnes had departed Bremerhaven, though the vessel which is one of eight anti-submarine warfare ships built between 1982 and 1990 is based in Wilmelmshaven.

FGS Augberg is berthed at Dublin's Deep Water Berth where is sited a crane depicting the mural of the late Ronnie Drew, the Irish singer & folk musician best known as a member of the Dubliner's. The Liebherr built crane featured as part of the 'Starboard Home' T.V. documentary which was broadcast last night.

There will be no public visits of the 132m long frigate during its stay in the capital.

In terms of design of the octet class frigates, they are based from the Dutch Navy's 'Kortenaer' class but uses a different propulsion system and hangar lay-out.

FGS Bremen is suited for anti-suface and aircraft warfare and this is reflected in the crew of 202 in addition to 20 personnel involved in aviation.

Among its weapons systems is a single 76 mm OTO-Melara Geschütz gun and 16 NATO Sea Sparrow missiles.

The frigate along with FGS Erfurt auf dem carried out recent rocket exercises off Sundsvall, north of the Swedish capital of Stockholm. Sundsvall is located on the east coast of the Nordic nation and along the Gulf of Bothnia.

It was in much warmer climes in the Meditterranean where FGS Augsburg was deployed to in 2015 along with replenishment ship FGS Berlin as part of the EU led Operation Sophia. The primary role is aimed to neutralise established refugee smuggling routes across the Mediterranean Sea.

The humanitarian mission also involved the participation of the Irish Naval Service. In March of this year it was announced that further deployment of Irish patrol vessels is to end in the EU's large scale effort on migrant rescue operations held off Libya in north Africa.

Instead the focus will be on the use of air patrols and closer co-ordination and co-operation with the Libyan authorities.

Published in Naval Visits
Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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Naval Visits focuses on forthcoming courtesy visits by foreign navies from our nearest neighbours, to navies from European Union and perhaps even those navies from far-flung distant shores.

In covering these Naval Visits, the range of nationality arising from these vessels can also be broad in terms of the variety of ships docking in our ports.

The list of naval ship types is long and they perform many tasks. These naval ships can include coastal patrol vessels, mine-sweepers, mine-hunters, frigates, destroyers, amphibious dock-landing vessels, helicopter-carriers, submarine support ships and the rarer sighting of submarines.

When Naval Visits are made, it is those that are open to the public to come on board, provide an excellent opportunity to demonstrate up close and personal, what these look like and what they can do and a chance to discuss with the crew.

It can make even more interesting for visitors when a flotilla arrives, particularly comprising an international fleet, adding to the sense of curiosity and adding a greater mix to the type of vessels boarded.

All of this makes Naval Visits a fascinating and intriguing insight into the role of navies from abroad, as they spend time in our ports, mostly for a weekend-long call, having completed exercises at sea.

These naval exercises can involve joint co-operation between other naval fleets off Ireland, in the approaches of the Atlantic, and way offshore of the coasts of western European countries.

In certain circumstances, Naval Visits involve vessels which are making repositioning voyages over long distances between continents, having completed a tour of duty in zones of conflict.

Joint naval fleet exercises bring an increased integration of navies within Europe and beyond. These exercises improve greater co-operation at EU level but also internationally, not just on a political front, but these exercises enable shared training skills in carrying out naval skills and also knowledge.

Naval Visits are also reciprocal, in that the Irish Naval Service, has over the decades, visited major gatherings overseas, while also carrying out specific operations on many fronts.

Ireland can, therefore, be represented through these ships that also act as floating ambassadorial platforms, supporting our national interests.

These interests are not exclusively political in terms of foreign policy, through humanitarian commitments, but are also to assist existing trade and tourism links and also develop further.

Equally important is our relationship with the Irish diaspora, and to share this sense of identity with the rest of the World.

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