A modern Schnellboot, the Deutsche Marine‘s Type 143A (Gepard-class) fast attack craft Frettchen (P61260/S 76) firing her 76mm OTO Melera main gun over her starboard side, a blossom of fire in a cold sea.
The 10-ship Gepard-class, just 430-tons full and 189-feet overall, can make over 40-knots and in addition to their popgun shown above mount a quartet of MM38 Exocets for ship-busting.
With the draw-down following the Cold War, most of the Gepards have been taken out of service. Following the Gulf War, where Saddam’s Fast Attack craft falling easy victim to U.S. and RN helicopters, the Germans were quick to add a 21-cell RAM launcher to the Schnellboots that remained in service.
Frettchen and her three remaining sisters, now pushing 30 years on their hulls, make up the 7th Fast Patrol Boat Squadron (7. Schnellbootgeschwader) at Warnemünde, with their mission to take on all comers in the Baltic.