The German government has announced its intention to select Damen as the main contractor, together with partners Blohm+Voss and Thales, for supplying at least four MKS 180 frigates to the German Navy.
“The Dutch naval shipbuilder is extremely proud of, and satisfied with, the result of the evaluation process announced today by the German Government, though of course awaits parliamentary approval in Germany”, said a Damen statement.
According to the Germany procurement authority, Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw), the selection is still subject to parliamentary approval. The approval is expected in Spring 2020.
The ships will be built at Blohm + Voss shipyard in Hamburg and at other shipyard locations of the Lürssen Group, the parent company of Blohm+Voss, in northern Germany. Damen intends to build the MKS 180 frigates in this way in order to spend around 80% of the total net investment as added value in Germany. The same applies to the electronic application systems that are supplied by Thales Nederland to its own design. Around 70% of the services will be provided by the German subsidiary of Thales and by other German subcontractors.
MKS 180 (Mehrzweckkampfschiff 180, Multi-Purpose Combat Ship) frigates are the new class of multi-mission frigates under development for the German Navy.
The frigates will be capable of being equipped with different installation modules designed for specific military missions. The modularity of the ships brings several advantages: mission modules that are not required can be stored and serviced regardless of the ship’s platform. The modules do not have to be procured for each ship and can also be purchased independently of this. In the event of changing operating conditions and further developed technology, only the module may need to be modernized. And the standardized interfaces on board make it possible to develop new types of modules.
According to the German Navy, the MKS 180 frigates will be around 155 meters long with a maximum displacement of 9,000 tons.
The larger size of the new warships compared to the German Navy’s previous ships is because, among other things, they need enough space for the different modules. For comparison, the Navy’s operational F125 Baden-Württemberg class frigates are five meters shorter and almost 2,000 tons smaller. And these ships are almost twice the size of the F122 Bremen-class frigates.
The MKS multi-purpose combat ship will take on some features from the Baden-Württemberg class frigates including automation and low maintenance of the technical systems, as well as the multi-crew concept. This will allow these new ships to remain in the area of operation for up to two years, while the roughly 110-strong crew rotates every four months.
The vessels will have a permanent crew of 110 personnel and will have the capability to embark 70 additional personnel who specialize in the mission modules. The vessels are intended to have a service life of 30 years.