After a quiet period for visits, West India Docks welcomes three ships from the German Navy. Two coastal minesweepers FGS Siegburg, FGS Pegnitz and auxiliary support vessel FGS Main are berthed in the dock and will be moored until the 18th April.
The FGS Siegburg and FGS Pegnitz are based in Kiel, are part of the 3rd German mine-sweeping squadron, whereas the FGS Main is normally stationed in Eckernförde and is part of the 1st German submarine squadron.
The FGS Main was commissioned in 1994 as a supply ship and is known as a Type 404 Elbe class replenishment ship or tender which supports the German Navy squadrons of Fast Attack Craft, submarines and minesweepers. The ships carry fuel, fresh water, food, ammunition and other materials.
The FGS Siegburg and FGS Pegnitz are minesweepers of the German Navy’s Type 352 Ensdorf class which carry remote controlled Seehund drones which locate and destroy mines.
According to the German Embassy, the ships will moor in West India Docks between the 15th to 18th April and be open to the public from 2-4pm on the 16 April 2016.
The vessels are part of a German task group visiting London. The task group led by the commander of the 3rd German minesweeping squadron, Commander s.g. Axel Schrader, is currently on a two weeks squadron exercise, which started on 11 April. The first week of exercise focused on seamanship, as well as damage control and communications, to followed by mine countermeasure exercises.
The task group will return to their home ports on 22 April.
Regular contributor, Eric Pemberton managed to get a few photographs of the FGS Main coming into the dock.