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DSEI 2023: OSK pitches Arctic frigate design for new Danish Navy requirement

13th September 2023 - 11:45 GMT | by Giovanni Rasio in London


The Arctic frigate design proposed by OSK features two mission bays. (Photo: author)

OSK Design has revealed details of its Arctic frigate concept, designed to replace Denmark's ageing Thetis class for operations in the High North.

After awarding a design contract for the procurement of a new generation of patrol vessels, Denmark is expected to focus on the replacement of its ageing Thetis-class frigates.

The class, which was introduced in the early 1990s, has been mainly employed to patrol the Greenland, Iceland and UK (GIUK) gap and the deep waters surrounding Greenland and the Faroe Islands. 

Four vessels are currently in service, and although no out-of-service date has been disclosed, Shephard estimates the ships will be removed from active duty in the early 2030s.

The replacement solution proposed by OSK Design features an ice-strengthened hull and has an approximate displacement of 6,000t.

Unlike the new generation of patrol vessels, which are intended to operate in the Baltic and North Sea, the new frigates will conduct missions further north, in the same Arctic area as their predecessors.

According to images displayed at the event, the frigate can be armed with a forward-mounted 76mm gun, an undisclosed number of vertical launch systems (VLS) and a close-in weapon system (CIWS) on top of the hangar.

The vessel has two large mission bays, one amidships and another below the helicopter flight deck.

In particular, the latter mission bay is characterised by a central ramp for launch and recovery of uncrewed underwater/surface vehicles (UXVs) or a special mission craft, flanked by smaller areas for sonar – likely variable depth  – and mine-laying systems.

Similar to most next-generation Danish ships, the frigate is predicted to make an extensive use of SH Defence’s Cube system, which already integrates several payloads. At DSEI, a VR model of the Cube Mine Laying System fitted on board the ship was also displayed.

An OSK spokesperson told Shephard that up to five frigates – in two different versions – could be ordered.

One variant would be optimised to perform anti-surface warfare (ASW) missions in the GIUK gap, fitted with a dedicated propulsion system and sensor suite, while the other is expected to be a long-range version intended for conducting patrols around Greenland.

Although the programme is still in the very early stages, the aim is to have the first ship delivered in the early 2030s, possibly around 2032.

Shephard's DSEI 2023 coverage is sponsored by:

Giovanni Rasio


Giovanni Rasio

Giovanni Rasio is a Senior Naval Analyst at Shephard’s Defence Insight business intelligence service. Before …

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