Rohde & Schwarz press release
Munich, September 27, 2021 – Rohde & Schwarz was awarded a mutual gain approach contract with Thales to deliver and integrate R&S KORA systems for communications and radar electronic support measures (ESM) in the new German navy F126 frigates.
R&S KORA is a powerful intercept and analysis system that detects, identifies and tracks complex and broadband radar emissions, as well as communications transmissions. The system combines detection results from different signals for a comprehensive picture of the situation, covering the entire electromagnetic spectrum for an environment with high sensitivity and a long detection range. R&S KORA creates improved situational awareness for increased early warning capability.
Wolfgang Marchl, Vice President Government Solutions, Rohde & Schwarz, said:
“Rohde & Schwarz welcomes the contract and has a longstanding history of providing radio communications reconnaissance systems to the German customer. R&S KORA enables acquisition, analysis and evaluation of radar and communications signals at sea, opening a new dimension of information. The system is modular and scalable, making it ideal for the German navy and will support future complex operational requirements.”
A Damen-led team is building four new F126 frigates for the German Navy together with Blohm+Voss and Thales. This contract increases the participation of the German naval industry in the F126 project. The first ship is expected to be handed over to the German navy in 2028 in Hamburg.
The Fregatte Klasse 126 (Frigate class 126 or “F126”, previously known as project Multi-Purpose Combat Ship Mehrzweckkampfschiff 180 “MKS180” ) will be a multi-mission platform. Built-in modules designed for specific military missions will make this possible. These mission modules are at the heart of what “multipurpose combat ship” means in practice.
- Self-defense and combat missions
- Creation of a maritime picture above and under water
- Maritime surveillance and embargo control, including VBSS
- Military evacuation in crisis situations
- Escort for merchant ships
- Command of a naval task force
The first of four ships is scheduled for delivery in 2028. For the record, the German parliament (Bundestag) formally approved the procurement of four multi-purpose MKS 180 vessels in June 2020. In the contract, the Bundeswehr keeps an option open for the procurement of two additional ships. The same month, Damen Shipyards Group and the German Bundesamt für Ausrüstung, Informationstechnik und Nutzung der Bundeswehr (BAAINBw) signed the contract for the construction of four MKS 180 frigates for the German Navy.
Thales will be providing the following systems:
- 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.
F126 Main Characteristics
- Length: approximately 155 meters at waterline
- Displacement: maximum 9,000 tonnes
- Accommodation: 110 crew, 70 passengers
- Operating endurance: 24 months
- Operating area: worldwide
- Ice class: 1C / E1 for sea areas with ice formation
- Service life: 30 years