Germany awards €2.4bln contract for five new K130 corvettes

German Navy F 260 Braunschweig

The German defense procurement agency BAAINBw has authorized a €2.4 billion contract for the construction of five new Braunschweig-class (K130) corvettes.

The ARGE K130 consortium, composed of Lürssen Werft, ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems and the recently incorporated German Naval Yards Kiel, will be delivering the ships.

Led by Lürssen Werft as prime contractor, the shipbuilding team is to deliver the ships by 2025.

The German Navy already operates five K130 ships which means the corvettes will be based on an existing design incorporating updated technologies.

Initial announcements made by the German defense ministry indicated the ships could be acquired at a price of €1.5 billion but reports emerged that the shipbuilders were asking €2.9 billion for five corvettes and two training facilities for corvette-operation.

The value of the contract, announced by BAAINBw on September 12, is €900 million more than what the ministry initially expected to pay.

In addition to price issues, K130 corvette construction was stalled by shipbuilder German Naval Yards who protested the defense ministry’s decision to award the construction contract without a public tender in order to speed up the whole process.

The German cartel office, in a ruling announced on May 18, upheld the complaint arguing that an open tender had precedence over a quick procurement.

In response to the ruling, Lürssen and TKMS offered German Naval Yard to join the consortium with a 15 percent stake in the construction. The newly-formed consortium was approved by the cartel office.

Braunschweig-class corvettes were ordered because of the navy’s increased scope and tempo of operations. Another reason is the fact that the MKS180 Multi-role Combat Ship order was delayed and the corvette announcement was interpreted as an offset to the delays.

The 90-meter ships are designed for operation in coastal waters, augmenting the capabilities of fast attack boats and frigates. They are equipped with two 27 mm Mauser MLG27 remote-controlled, fully-automatic cannons, and one OTO Melara 76 mm gun.

The corvettes are also feature a helicopter landing deck and use the Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) – guided naval missile for close-in defense against anti-ship missiles, aircraft, helicopters and surface threats.


Germany’s first F125 frigate misses commissioning date

FGS Baden-Württenberg entering its future homeport of Wilhelmshaven. Photo: Bundeswehr/Dennis Kramer

German Navy’s newest frigate and the lead ship in its class, the future FGS Baden-Württemberg, has missed its scheduled July 28 commissioning date as it is yet to be handed over by the shipbuilders.

According to German news site Wilhelmshavener Zeitung, FGS Baden-Württemberg is still undergoing adjustments and check ups.

One the issues the news site reported was the frigate’s operations room from where the highly-automated ship will be controlled. This is a complex system as the 7000-tonne frigate (close to the displacement range of a destroyer) will require only half the crew necessary to operate the predecessor Bremen-Class frigates.

According to the German Navy, the F125 will be deploying with little over 100 personnel.

Reporting on the sea trials of the second frigate in the class, the Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany’s Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) in March this year said the frigate successfully completed builder’s trials without mentioning the technical issues or the listing issues Naval Today earlier reported about.

BAAINBw is currently working out problems with the operations room on FGS Baden-Württemberg and the frigate is scheduled to start functional tests by the end of August 2017, the news site quoted a BAAINBw spokesperson as saying.

F125 frigates are a new class of ships set to replace the eight Bremen-Class frigates currently in service with the German Navy.

The navy has developed an alternative crewing model for the frigates with four ships operated by eight crews. The deployment duration for any of the crews should not exceed four months.

New sensor-weapon concepts are prepared for the enhanced flexibility and scalable control-options of the frigates. Almost all weapons on board will be remotely controlled. Passive protection will also be enhanced by automatized surveillance systems.

These ships will be the first ones to run the so-called CODLAG propulsion system. The system essentially consists of electric motors which will draw power from diesel generators. The new ships will carry four deployable boats and have two container spots on the middle deck.

Weaponry will consist of HARPOON and RAM missiles, one 127 mm machine gun, two 27 mm and five 12.7 mm guns. The 150-meter ship will have a complement capacity of 190 persons and a maximum speed of 26 knots.