Germany approved the procurement of five additional Braunschweig-class (K-130) corvettes in June 2017 to answer new NATO requirements. The second batch of corvettes will be named Köln, Emden, Karlsruhe, Augsburg, and Lübeck. Atlas Elektronik and Thales Deutschland have been contracted to deliver the combat system for the five new K130 corvettes. The production started earlier this year.
First pictures of the K130 Batch 2 also suggests that the future ships will receive the latest variant of the 76mm main gun by Leonardo (with a stealthy shield, while existing K130 main guns have a round cupola). Existing K130 Corvettes weapon systems include four Saab RBS-15 anti-ship missiles, two 21-cell RAM surface to air missile systems, an Oto Melara 76/62 gun and two Rheinmetall MLG 27 guns.
The five new corvettes will be built by a joint venture of three shipbuilding companies: Lürssen Werft, ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems and German Naval Yards. Lürssen will build the foredeck of the “Cologne” in its shipyard at Lemwerder near Bremen, while the rear will be built at the Wolgaster Peene shipyard. These two large sections will then be assembled and equipped at the Thyssen shipyard Blohm & Voss in Hamburg. In Wolgast, the rear vessels of the remaining four new corvettes are also being built.
Since its commissioning in 2008-2013, the first five ships in the class have become proven workhorses of the German naval forces. On the one hand, one of the corvettes for the UNIFIL stabilization mission in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Lebanon has been in use virtually since 2012. On the other hand, the small, manoeuvrable ships with a sea endurance of up to seven days are specialists for national and alliance defense missions in the Baltic Sea, where they regularly practice with NATO and EU partners.
The German fleet has recently tested the newly-developed concepts of intensive use and multi-crew model with the class K 130, for which the class 125 frigates are designed and of which the first will be put into service this year.
With the procurement of these new ships, the Navy will also eliminate the obsolescence of the corvettes, which are already introduced into the fleet.