Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding and Thales signed on November 17, 2020, the contract for the delivery and full integration of Thales’s Mission and Combat System for the four MKS 180 class frigates contracted by the German Navy. The system will be designed by Damen and completely built by German shipyards, under Damen’s project management.
Valued at €1.5B, the contract illustrates Thales’s leading position in global naval integration. It will be executed by Thales’s naval Centers of Excellence in Hengelo (the Netherlands), Kiel and Wilhelmshaven (Germany) in cooperation with a substantial number of German subcontractors.
According to Thales representative, this is the third largest contract ever awarded to the company (following the Rafale contract with India five years ago and the French FREMM contract a decade ago). 70% of the work will be conducted in Germany and the remaining 30% in the Netherlands.
The first ship of the MKS 180 class will be operational in 2028. The entire program will run for over ten years. There is an option for two more frigates.
Here are some details on the equipment that Thales will be providing:
- Tacticos combat management system
- Satcom system
- APAR Block 2 x-band multifunction radar for AWWS
- Gatekeeper 360° IR/TV system
- Mirador MK2 EO tracking and observation system
Other equipment (non Thales) that will be fuzed with the Thales systems (Tacticos + AWWS):
- MK41 VLS for ESSM Block 2
- Naval Strike Missile (NSM)
- KORA C-ESM and R-ESM
- TRS-4D c-band air and surface surveillance radar
- RAM CIWS
- 127mm main gun with Vulcano extended range precision munition
The decoy launchers will likely be the MASS by Rheinmetall. MKS 180 will be fitted with a sonar suite as well, but the competition for this contract is still ongoing.
Thales’s Mission and Combat System includes the comprehensive Tacticos Combat Management System and the AWWS (Above Water Warfare System) Fire Control Cluster. The contract includes four ship systems, logistic services and multiple land-based test and training sites, as well as the option for one or two additional ships.
AWWS is a cutting-edge warfare suite that helps the ship crews to counter and neutralise complex saturation attacks by continuously analysing and optimising the tactical environment and deployment of resources. AWWS will be combined with APAR* Bl2, the evolved version of Thales’s proven AESA* multifunction radar. In 2019, Thales signed an AWWS development contract for the new M-frigates for the Belgian and Dutch Navies.
TACTICOS is Thales’s naval Combat Management System (CMS) and this sits at the heart of a maritime Combat System. For the last 25 years, TACTICOS has been continuously developed in order to meet present and future military needs.
TACTICOS’s under-pinning open architecture infrastructure is what makes it so adaptable and well-suited to numerous navies with different combat system configurations and operating requirements. With 26 customer navies on all continents, TACTICOS has become the world’s most successful CMS.