The West India Docks in Canary Wharf have again played host to a group of warships making a port call in London. This time it was the turn of 3 German Navy vessels that make up the 3rd German Minesweeping Squadron or 3 Minensuchgeschwader.
There are two Ensdorf Class Minesweepers, the FGS Pegnitz M1090 and FGS Siegburg M1098 and they were accompanied by the Elbe-class replenishment ship FGS Main A515, although the FGS Main is not the normally assigned support ship.
The three ships have been taking part in an exercise and this visit is the mid-point break and on Saturday afternoon both FGS Main and FGS Pegnitz were open to visitors – thanks to all the crew for taking the time to show people around and to explain things.
The Squadron Commander was on hand to welcome my group on board the FGS Main and the Executive Officer conducted the tour.
We were able to visit the bridge of the ship – this is the main console:
The FGS Main is normally used as a submarine tender and so has a different configuration to the other vessels in the class – this includes specialist mooring pontoons to protect submarines when docking in open seas as well as a torpedo reload magazine (empty on this occasion!).
All ships of the class have a rear helicopter landing deck and a crane for loading cargo containers.
The second ship open to visitors was the FGS Pegnitz.
Here some of the crew wait to greet the visitors.
This was the view from the helmsman’s seat.
The FGS Pegnirz is a coastal Minesweeper and can use a variety of techniques to detect and destroy mines including the remotely operated Seehund drone ship (none made this trip but this is an example seen on a previous London visit).
The ship is also fitted with a remotely operated 27mm cannon for self-defence.
Thanks again to the crew for an excellent tour and hopefully we will see many more visits by German Navy vessels in the future.
Some more pictures of their visit can be seen here.
For a comparison to a Royal Navy Minesweeper see the report of a visit on board HMS Middleton here.