Type 403 Lahn class tenders - The oddball of the three tenders

Type 403 Lahn class tenders - The oddball of the three tenders

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Background & History

The Type 403 class was the third subclass of the “Rhein” class tenders which were a series of fleet tenders which all shared a basic design however each class was meant to support a different element of the West German Navy, with the main class being the Type 401 Rhein class which supported the torpedo boat squadrons, the Type 402 Moselle class which supported the minesweepers, and the subject of this suggestion the Type 403 Lahn class tenders which supported the submarines.

Despite their different roles as tenders they had more in common than just a hull as they all shared a purpose in their secondary roles as they were designed to fill the roles of other types of vessels if required due to losses or lack of vessels during any war, as their design allowed them to serve as frigates and minelayers, and to a further extent anti-submarine warfare with what they were given plus at any time given were all able to be used as school/training ships though it must be stated that the Type 403 might be the only one of them where a prospect secondary role as a frigate might not be so fitting as they were much less well armed than the other two classes and made them visually distinctive from the rest.

The Type 403 class was the smallest ground of the 3 tenders, yet throughout the Cold War both vessels would remain in service near to the very end as one was decommissioned in 1989 while the other one managed to stay in service as late as 1991. As the Type 403 had a much more different design the class displaced much less than the other classes, the ship itself had a very limited armament as they lacked the 100mm gun armament with characterized the 401 and 402 classes, instead retaining the 4 Breda Bofors however placed in two twin mountings rather than singles and were placed on each end of the ship, however otherwise the ship retained the minelaying and ASW capability. Due to the loss of the 100mm guns they also had less radar systems as the tracking radars used for the 100mm gun turrets were also deleted which was another noticeable difference.

2,400 tons standard
2,956 tons fully loaded

98.6 m (323.5 ft) (Overall)

11.83 m (38.8 ft)

3.9 m (12.7 ft) to 5.2 m (17.2 ft) (Varies by source)

6 Maybach 16-cylinder diesel electric
2 Propeller shafts
12,600 hp

20.5 Knots (37.8 km/h; 23.5 mph)

163 to 114 (Varies by ships)

Sensors and systems
1 x DA-02 Air and surface search radar
1 x Kelvin Hughes 14/9 navigation radar
1 x Hull sonar (sonar is not specified)

Primary Armament
4 x Breda 40mm/70 MLE Model 58 Bofors AA guns (2 x 2 Type 106 mounts)
Other weaponry
Up to 70 Mines (One source says up to 90)
2 x depth charge racks (5 depth charges each, 10 x depth charges total)



Rhein-class tender - Wikipedia

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/61/4f/9a/614f9a73546be657394ef4996d394762.png (This sources is actually a image however it does specify the more minor differences between the classes)

Tender "Lahn" class (403)

Image Sources


Datei:U-Boot Tender Lahn.jpg – Wikipedia

Eng verbunden mit Limburg: Vor 55 Jahren stach Tender „Lahn“ in See - Rhein-Lahn-Zeitung - Rhein-Zeitung


Treffen der ehemaligen Besatzungsmitglieder des Tender Lech | SHZ

Category:Rhein class replenishment ships – Wikimedia Commons

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