Mock-up trial minimises risks
Mock-up trial minimises risks
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From 22 to 26 May 2023, a mock-up trial for the tactical boats of the F126-class frigate was conducted at the Eckernförde Naval Base with the aim of minimising risks and costs. The mock-up, a full-scale model of a tactical boat, was used for testing and evaluation.
The objective of the mock-up trials is to provide, even during the early design detailing phase, a tangible, three-dimensional model of a tactical boat with all its key features and, at the same time, to specify an individual design tailored to the operational purpose.
Tactical boats for a variety of tasks
The construction of the F126-class frigate also encompasses the provision of a total of twelve special tactical boats to the German Navy. The first of these boats is to be delivered to the user as early as 2025.
The boats are being designed for various mission roles with the Sea Battalion, the Navy Special Operations Forces Command and the F126 crew. They can be employed for boarding operations, the protection of ships in littoral waters or tasks performed by special operations forces, for example.
New risk minimisation standard
A team comprised of experts from the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBwBundesamt für Ausrüstung, Informationstechnik und Nutzung der Bundeswehr), the Bundeswehr Technical Centre for Ships and Naval Weapons, Maritime Technology and Research (WTDWehrtechnische Dienststelle 71), various Navy agencies and representatives of contracted companies got together in Eckernförde to jointly work on the further development of the tactical boats.
The new approach of involving all relevant stakeholders in this trial led to the creation of a common new standard for risk minimisation and optimisation regarding the detailed planning of the tactical boats.
This can be easily explained: If a need for modifications arises at this early stage, they can be implemented with comparative ease and at reasonable costs prior to the start of the production of the boats, provided that the basic design of the latter permits the desired changes. Such an approach minimises the risks and costs for customers and contractors alike.
Jointly identifying potential for optimisation
With this in mind, the objective of the trials in Eckernförde was to identify, based on the current boat design, any potential for improvement and optimisation while still in the design detailing phase so that the outcome may later be taken into account for the final design.
Thanks to the wide-ranging expertise of the team on site, the varied perspectives of all parties involved could thus be taken into consideration.
The experts examined aspects such as the possibility of adding more brackets for personal gear, equipment and ammunition boxes, the ideal position of the heavy on-board weapons or improved ergonomics on board.
New findings define important milestone
The new findings have laid the foundation for the validation and adaptation of the detailed planning for the tactical boats that is now underway. In addition, they form the basis for another important milestone in the F126 project and for its timely implementation. Moreover, all parties involved in the project now have a tangible and realistic idea of the tactical boat’s design.