(NSI News Source Info) December 9, 2008: Atlas Elektronik sets a new standard in torpedo technology: the first series-manufactured unit of the German heavyweight torpedo DM2A4 left the production facility in Wedel near Hamburg on Wednesday, 3 December 2008, and was symbolically handed over to the German Navy.At the ceremonial rollout of the first series torpedo, the Chairman of the ATLAS Management Board, Dr. Ralf Kube, spoke to about 100 representatives of the German Navy, the Federal Ministry of Defence, the Federal Office of Defence Technology and Procurement (BWB) and other authorities as well as ATLAS personnel: “ATLAS is setting a new standard in torpedo technology. With the DM2A4 for the German Navy, the world’s most modern and effective torpedo is now going into series production. Once more, ATLAS has shown that it is one of the internationally leading systems suppliers for naval electronics and naval weapons.
The staff members of ATLAS have every right to be proud of this achievement in again proving to be a valuable partner for the German Navy.” On behalf of the Federal Minister of Defence, Ministerialdirigent Christian Fischer, Head of German Naval Armaments, thanked all those who had participated in the development and testing of the DM2A4.
In his address, he mentioned the extreme technical challenges ATLAS ELEKTRONIK had faced in the development of the DM2A4, emphasizing that, despite the difficulties that were encountered, the German authorities had never lost [their] confidence in either the company or the product.
With the words “The German Navy now commands the world’s most modern torpedo for the world’s most modern non-nuclear submarines, namely the class 212A,” Mr. Fischer formally handed over the first series torpedo to the Director of Naval Armaments and Logistics, Rear Admiral Hoops.
Rear Admiral Henning Hoops of the Naval Office in Rostock declared the U 212A weapon system to be complete and ready for action: “With the torpedo DM2A4 SEAHAKE, the most modern conventional submarine of the class 212A with its great detection range will also carry the most powerful heavyweight torpedo.” Rear Admiral Henning Hoops (Director of Naval Armaments, Rostock), Ministerialdirigent Christian Fischer (Head of Division Naval Armaments, Federal Ministry of Defence), Dr. Ralf Kube (Chairman of the Management Board, ATLAS ELEKTRONIK) at the symbolic handover of the heavyweight torpedo DM2A4 to the German Navy (from left) The DM2A4 is the new high-performance torpedo for German submarines of the 212A class; it differs to an appreciable degree from the predecessor model, the DM2A3.
The innovations include the extremely powerful electrical propulsion system, the control and data transmission via fibre-optic instead of copper cable, the replacement of the mechanical gyro by a strap-down system using fibre-optic gyros, and the wake homing sensors. Ralf Kube went on to say: “With the DM2A4, ATLAS has achieved a quantum leap in torpedo technology. The possible battle range, the speed, the considerably increased resistance against torpedo countermeasures and the decisive enhancement in agility are unmatched worldwide. This success was only possible through the close and constant teamwork between ATLAS and its partners at the German Navy, the Federal Ministry of Defence, the Federal Office of Defence Technology and Procurement, and the Bundeswehr Technical Centre for Ships and Naval Weapons.”
All torpedoes for the German Navy are scheduled to be delivered by October 2010. The Turkish Navy has also procured DM2A4 torpedoes and has already introduced them on its submarines. BACKGROUND NOTES: The new torpedo type replaces the DM2A3, which was introduced into service in the early nineties. Approval for deployment in the German Navy was granted in 2007, following successful test firings in the Mediterranean in cooperation with the Italian Navy. Development had commenced in 1997.
Besides specific performance requirements for speed and range, the new torpedo must have a service lifetime of at least 30 years and its technology must be available or replaceable over the entire period. In addition to the high reliability (to keep the life cycle costs as low as possible), it had to be designed for possible adaptation to meet new requirements, e.g. in order to react to new anti-torpedo methods. For this reason, ATLAS decided to implement a modular structure. With a view to economical procurement and operation, ATLAS developed a family of torpedoes with scalable capabilities. Here the objective was to tailor the costs for the procurement and use of the DM2A4 to the requirements of the corresponding navy in an optimum way and, at the same time, to allow for performance upgrades with economical retrofits.
This goal was achieved through a modular battery concept in conjunction with propellers optimized for the relevant configuration. Not only can the torpedoes be fitted with two to four batteries, the navies can configure the torpedoes themselves. Even with only one battery, the DM2A4 already attains the performance level that is usual today for electrical heavyweight torpedoes in respect of speed and range.
The whole DM2A4 torpedo family distinguishes itself by being future-proof for several decades to come. This feature was achieved by the consistent software implementation on modern processors of all the major functions in the torpedo. In particular, this includes the essential procedures for guidance, search and attack.