The German Navy decommissioned the last of its remaining Type 143A Fast Attack Craft – S76 Frettchen, S73 Hermelin, S80 Hyäne (pictured) and S75 Zobel – at a formal ceremony at the Warnemünde naval base on 16 November 2016. The occasion also marked the end of the 7th Fast Patrol Boat Squadron.

The post-war German Marine received its first fast attack craft (FAC) from the Royal Navy in 1956 and went on to develop large numbers of several classes, culminating in the ten-strong Type 143A Gepard class in the early 1980s. The small but well-armed, fast and agile FAC proved ideal for patrolling the confined waters of the Baltic Sea during the Cold War.

Their strengths were a benefit during subsequent deployments further afield, with participation in international security roles in Operation Enduring Freedom and 2,300 days on task with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). The German Navy is to cover the loss of the littoral warfare specialists by building a second batch of five Brunschweig class corvettes.

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