Lütjens class destroyer

Lütjens class destroyer

The Type 103 "Lütjens" class was the last class of destroyers in service with the German Navy. They were replaced by the new "Sachsen"-class frigates, designated frigate even though they are much larger and more capable in all aspects than the "Lütjens" class destroyers.Basically the ships were "Charles F. Adams"-class guided missile destroyers but with some modifications to meet German requirements:
* Communication systems according to German standards. The "Lütjens" class had more aerials and a second mast mounted on the aft funnel, the large air surveillance radar was positioned further aft (above the funnel).
* Different funnel design. This was necessary because of the new antennas and radar location. On the "Lütjens" the exhaust gases were emitted sideways with two pipes on the port and starboard side of each funnel.
* New location of the sonar array: The "Lütjens" had its sonar dome located in a bulge directed forward in the bow and not under the bow to reduce the ship's draft.
* Better crew accommodations.

The "Lütjens" class was upgraded to Type 103A in the 1970s with new digital fire-control computers and better missiles for the old Tartar SM1 missile system. The boilers were also converted to burn lighter oil for logistical reasons instead of the heavy fuel oil that needs to be preheated.

A second major refit began in the 1980s, with new fire control computers and radar for the guns.

In the 1990s, the ships in the class each received two RAM launchers and Chaff launchers.

With the decommissioning of "Lütjens" (D185) on December 18, 2003 the age of steam ended for the German Navy. "Mölders" (D186) became a Museum Ship at the German Navy Museum in Wilhelmshaven.

Note:Speeds over 30 kn could only sustained for a limited time due to the enormous fuel consumption. With two active boilers the ship could achieve speeds up to 27 kn. Three boilers made 30 kn achievable. For any speed beyond 30 kn all four boilers were needed.

List of ships

All three ships were built by Bath Iron Works in the USA. They were named after famous German officers that died in World War II. In service they formed the "1. Zerstörergeschwader" (first destroyer squadron) and were based in Kiel.


* The ships were nicknamed "the three holy cows" in the German Navy because of their high-priority status.


* [http://www.zerstoerer-moelders.de Zerstörer Mölders] (in German)
* [http://www.zerstoerer-rommel.de/ Zerstörer Rommel] (in German)
* [http://www.richardstokowski.de/zerstoe1.html Zerstörer Teil II] - private Homepage of Richard Stokowski (in German)

ee also

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