Interested in the Zobel Class boats?
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This site gives information on the ten Zobel class
(type 142) fast patrol boats built in the early
1960's for the German Navy. (Eight more boats based on the Zobel class schnellboot (fast boat) design
were built for the Turkish Navy in the mid-1980's and became the
"Kartal Class" patrol boats.)
The purpose of this site
is to be the most complete "one-stop" internet source of information
on the type 142a Schnellboots as well as bringing forth information
on how to modify and build the GraupnerTM
model kit so as to achieve a more realistic look to the model.
drop-down menu at the top (under "Schnellboot") is divided into the
- History (this page) -
about the original schnellboots
- Lew's Wiesel - Lew's
model (model is still under construction)
- Lew's Photos - the
results of building a more accurate model Zobel schnellboot
- Kit Errors - points out
the lack of detail plus wrong reproduction and omissions by the
- Updating the Kit -
focuses in on what modifications that need to be done to build a
- Real Photos - a
reference guide with photos of the original schnellboots
Identifying the Zobel Class
Each of the boats had different designations. The large "P" numbers
were NATO assigned. The German Navy
identified the boats by their hull "S-__" number followed by their name. The photo at the right shows the NATO assigned number on the
superstructure as well as on the transom. The boat's name was
located on a board on each side of the engine house.
Each of the boats were named after a different small furred animal.
Each of the boats had an emblem (badge) that had a drawing of the
animal. This emblem was located on
both sides of the bow (lower right photo).
The boats had a crest of the sponsoring town
("Godparent") which appeared on both sides of the radar mast.
(The crest shown on the left is that of
city of Ratingen, sponsor of the Wiesel.)
Another badge (photo at left), that of the 7.
Schnellbootgeschwader (7th Fast Attack Craft Squadron based at Kiel
on the Black Sea) was located on the pilot house
under the forward (starboard) windshield panel (visible on the real
photos page on this site).
The black crest cross on a white background is the cross of the
Knights of the Teutonic Order. Es
symbolisiert bleibende Werte wie Ritterlichkeit, Gerechtigkeit und
Tapferkeit. It symbolizes enduring values of chivalry,
justice and courage.
Evolution of the Zobel Class
Federal Republic of Germany's ten Zobel class (type 142) fast torpedo patrol boats ("schnellboots") were the last generation descendant of the WW-II German S-Boat.
The type 142 construction followed the
Jaguar class (type 140) and Seeadler class (type
141) schnellboots of the 1950's. All have a similar hull design,
four engines driving four propellers, two rudders, and
carried two 40mm Bofors guns in single mounts.
These ten type 142 boats were built in 1961-63 for
West Germanys navy (Bundesmarine) and modified in the early 1970's.
The following were built by Lurssen Werft, Bremen, Germany: Zobel;
Wiesel; Oselot; Nerz; Gepard; Frettchen; Dachs. The following
were built by Kroger Werf, Rendsburg, Germany: Puma; Hyane;
April 1, 1961, the 7th
Speedboat squadron was placed with the 105
Navy based in
Kiel and was organized as a fast speedboat wing of the
Federal Marine. Acht Monate
später, am 12.12.1961, wurde der "Zobel" als erstes Boot in Dienst
gestellt. On December 12, 1961 the first type 142 boat
arrived and was put into service in service.
Rasch folgten die anderen
Boote, bis mit der Indienststellung von "Ozelot" am 25.10.1963 die
Aufstellungsphase abgeschlossen war. Other boats
quickly followed, until the Inauguration of Ocelot on October 25,
1963. and the preparation phase was completed.
Lacking sufficient deck space
for surface to surface missiles,
this class was replaced in the early/mid 1980's by the
larger type 143 Albatros class and 143a Gepard
All of the Zobel class schnellboots were decommissioned.
Starting in 1982, six of decommissioned boats were transferred to
Turkey, for spare parts for the Turkish Kartal (below) class patrol
boats. One of the Original Zobel Class boats flew the Honduras flag (Nerz)
and two were sold to private owners (Zobel and Hermelin).
Type 142 schnellboots. The ten
class boats were built in the early 1960's and could operate in
sea state 5 (maximum) water.
General: Displacement was 190 tons (standard) up to
maximum of 225 tons. Length was 139'4" with a beam of 22'9"
and draft of 9'9" and could reach a speed of 42 knots. Range was
500 miles at top speed. The crew consisted of 4 officers, 17
NCOs, and 18 seamen (39 total).
The hull was
three layers of Mahogany - diagonal - glued on the steel and
light-metal keel and frames consisting of eleven compartments.
The superstructure was aluminum.
Mercedes-Benz MB-518C 20 cylinder diesel engines with over 3000
HP (2200 KW) each, driving a planetary reduction gear. Two of the engines
were modified and ran in reverse rotation. There were four
drive shafts and four 1.15 meter (45.24 inches) propellers.
Four forward facing (15 degrees off the boat's axis) 533mm diameter
torpedoes mounted in single tubes, and two single barrel 40mm Bofors L/70
guns in open turrets (maximum of 27 rounds in each turret). Magazines stored up to 270 rounds of 40mm ammunition. The aft deck could be
also used for laying
Radar: (No info on early type)
Electrical (power generation): Two diesel generators
rated at 96 HP/70 KW/65 kVA.
Three inflatable life rafts and a life
Type 142A (upgraded) Schnellboots
By the early 1970's
all ten boats were modified
and the "a" suffix was added to the type number. (Photo,
all over the boat are water spray nozzles (photo right shows one
near the flying bridge)used for NBC (Nuclear,
Biological, Chemical) cleaning and flushing. There were also four
fire fighting hose reels located on the aft portion of the superstructure.
The most noticeable modification was the addition of the new weapons
(sensors in the new large dome on the mast)
Hollandse Signaalapparaten (Nederland). Known as the HSA
these Zobel class boats were the first to use this new integrated
weapons system. The WM20 had a range of 20 nautical miles.
sensor (Surface Search, Range Information, Bearing
Information, IFF Information) had a maximum range of 40
allowed computer control of the two deck guns
(visual/EO sensor) and the
two wire-guided 21-inch 15nm/anti-ship torpedoes. The
DM2A1 Seehecht torpedoes were fired over the stern
and had a cruising speed of 23 knots and a maximum speed of 35 knots.
WM-20 radar (Air Search, Range Information, Bearing Information,
Altitude Information, IFF Information) can track one air and three surface targets simultaneously.
Surface Search, Range Information, Bearing Information, IFF
Information Radar. The ORG7/3 (Surface Search, Bearing
Information, IFF Information, Classification) was
Electrical (power generation) was
changed to two Diesel
generators with over 123 HP/91 KW/100 kVA and a gas turbine
generator producing 65 kVA.
Channels (per link)
Secure - HF Radio
Secure - VHF Radio
Secure - UHF Radio
Torpedo Wire Control (2)
Two-Way Wire Guidance
Secure - Send Only -
After the upgrade modifications the additional weight
(now 235 tons) decreased the top speed to 37knots (42.6 MPH).