Sensor, weapon hiccups plagued Danish frigate in the Red Sea: reports

MILAN — Critical weapon and mission systems aboard the Danish frigate Iver Huitfeldt malfunctioned during the ship’s recent deployment to the Red Sea, as the ship was partaking in an international effort to protect maritime cargo traffic against attacks from Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi militants, according to published reports.

The Danish independent news website Olfi reported that in a leaked message the frigate’s commanding officer, Cdr. Sune Lund, complained about a problem pertaining to the ship’s active phased array radar and the C-Flex combat management system.

These pieces of equipment are produced by Thales Netherlands and the Danish firm Terma, respectively.

According to the captain’s communication, the unexplained outages were severe enough to prevent the frigate from launching its RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missiles, also known as ESSMs, for roughly 30 minutes.

These munitions are medium-range, surface-to-air missiles used to protect ships against enemy aircraft, amongst other threats.

Additional problems concerned the ammunition for two of the ship’s 76mm guns, which were defective on more than one occasion during operations, according to the Olfi report.

Other websites have now also published parts of Lund’s message, which revealed that the equipment problems reportedly had been known about for “years” but that little had been done to address them.

The Danish Ministry of Defense has not yet confirmed these reports, but an investigation is said to be ongoing.

Additional navies have also recently been faced with some operational challenges while in the area, including the German Navy Hessen frigate, which accidentally fired two missiles at a U.S. MQ-9 Reaper drone, both of which failed to hit the target.

Amid the reported problems aboard the Iver Huitfeldt, the Danish Armed Forces published a video on X, formerly known as Twitter, showing its crew cheering as they locked on an enemy target and proceeded to strike it.

“The Iver Huitfeldt frigate is on its way home to Denmark after completing its mission in the Red Sea, where the crew, among other things, downed four drones,” the Defense Ministry said in an accompanying statement.