According to Germany’s Rheinmetall, the navies of many nations know they can count on the company’s MASS countermeasure system to protect their fleets from enemy missile attacks. Standing for “Multi Ammunition Softkill System”, MASS is claimed to be the world’s most advanced system for protecting frigates, corvettes, minesweepers and patrol boats. Rheinmetall says it is outmanoeuvring the international competition, with the company booking three more important orders for this state-of-the-art force protection system.
The United Arab Emirates have contracted with Rheinmetall Defence to equip its Abu Dhabi-class vessels and Falaj 2-class stealth ships with MASS technology. The German Navy, too, has placed an order to have four of its F125-class frigates equipped with the system. Volume for the three orders totals some €12.5 million. Since the product was first launched in 2002, Rheinmetall has sold 158 MASS launchers. It successfully penetrated the North American market in 2009, when Canada chose the system for its Halifax-class frigate programme, marking an important milestone on the product’s path to becoming standard NATO equipment.
Owing to its high reliability and negligible maintenance needs, MASS is well suited to the task of protecting Germany’s F125-class frigates, which are expected to remain on station in foreign waters for up to two years at a time. Designed to take the lead in future stabilization operations, the MASS-equipped F125 frigate will be well- protected from surface-to-surface missiles as well asymmetric threats in coastal areas.