Lithuania has ordered GEM Elettronica Columbus Mk2 3D navigation radars from Leonardo for its former Royal Danish Navy (RDN) Flyvefisken?class Žemaitis , Dz?kas , Aukštaitis , and S?lis offshore patrol vessels (OPVs). The Flyvefisken-class patrol vessels (“Flying fish” in Danish) are warships of the Royal Danish Navy. The class is also known as the Standard Flex 300 or SF300 class. Leonardo awarded EUR7.9 million (USD8.9 million) contract to install and integrate the radars, provide technical documentation, and train their operators by the end of 2023. Identification friend or foe antennas will also be integrated into the radars.
The Flyvefisken ships were constructed using an innovative modular design known as StanFlex: they have a standard hull in which containerised weapons or systems can be placed. This allows them to rapidly change roles, typically in 48 hours. Furthermore the ships are built using the sandwich principle – a layer of fiberglass either side of a core of PVC cell foam. This forms the structure from keel to top of mast. The Royal Danish Navy decommissioned its Flyvefisken fleet in October 2010. The five vessels sold to the Portuguese Navy are locally referred as Tejo class.
The handover of 480 ton, 54 m-long ex-HDMS Flyvefisken?class follows a refit and removal of Danish naval systems. The refit work includes the removal of radars and electronic systems, and the replacement of diesel engines and generators. New equipment being furnished by Lithuania includes engines and generators with diesel control, communication systems, sensor suites, and combat management systems. The four ships will be used for offshore patrolling within Lithuania’s exclusive economic zone and to provide the country with a maritime search-and-rescue capability.
GEM Elettronica Columbus is a high performance, compact, lightweight, multimode 3D radar, developed by GEM elettronica, to provide the capabilities needed in surveillance missions over air to surface. Columbus is a compact and advanced radar system featuring short to medium-range air and surface target surveillance along with weapon systems target designation. Columbus utilizes an extremely lightweight antenna with reduced electrical power consumption and very high reliability. In shipborne installations, COLUMBUS fulfilles the role of secondary search radar for large-medium combatant ships and of primary search radar for ship classes like corvettes and Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV).