TKMS press release
Today, ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems handed over the frigate “RHEINLAND-PFALZ” to the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology, and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) in Hamburg. With that, all four ships of the F125 class, which ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems built together with the NVL Group in the ARGE F125 consortium, have been successfully delivered.
The ship was handed over to the BAAINBw, represented by the Head of the Acceptance Commission, Matthias Rohde, and the responsible project manager at the BAAINBw, Marc Steffens, during a ceremony in Hamburg, which was kept a low profile due to the pandemic. On behalf of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems, Programme Manager Patrick Buggenthin signed the handover papers.
“We have now delivered all of the type F125 ships. The other three vessels are already in the in-service phase and have since proven their technical capabilities and reliability. We are convinced that the fourth vessel, the “RHEINLAND-PFALZ”, will also be successful. We wish the ship and crew ‘fair winds and following seas’. Full operational readiness of all ships for the German Navy remains our most important goal. On behalf of all employees, I would like to express my gratitude for the trust placed in us. At the same time, I would like to thank all our industry partners for their support and for what has been achieved. In our view, the innovative and highly complex ships of this class make an important contribution to a navy equipped for the future. We look forward to continuing the good cooperation with the German Navy.”
Dr. Rolf Wirtz, TKMS Chief Executive Officer
The first ship of the F125 class is scheduled to enter service in mid-2023. In order to create the necessary conditions for this phase, a comprehensive support contract regarding the technical logistic support (TLS) for the F125 frigates was concluded between ARGE F125 and the BAAINBw at the end of last year.
The completely redesigned vessels of the F125 class have highly complex systems and around 28,000 sensors that enable a very high degree of automation, making it possible to reduce the required number of crew members by about half compared to previous frigate classes. Moreover, the ships can remain in their theatre of operations for up to two years. Besides the traditional tasks of national and alliance defence, they are designed for conflict prevention and crisis management as well as for intervention and stabilization operations in an international context. In addition to the ability to engage targets both on land and on water, they are equipped with air defence systems and helicopters.
The contract for the construction of the four frigates became effective in June 2007. The concept, design, and detailed design phases followed. Around 90 percent of the highly complex systems onboard the F125 was developed specifically for this new type of ship.
ARGE F125 comprises ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems as the lead company and the Bremen-based NVL Group (formerly Lürssen Defence). The pre-fitted bow sections were produced at the shipyards of the NVL Group in Bremen and in Wolgast on the Baltic Sea. Construction of the stern sections, the joining of the two vessel halves, further fitting-out, commissioning, and trials all took place at the NVL shipyard Blohm+Voss in Hamburg.
About F125 class frigates
The F125 frigate project was launched in June 2007, with contracts worth $3 billion inked with the ARGE F125 consortium ( formed by ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems and Friedrich Lurssen Werft and Blohm + Voss) for four vessels.
Production of the lead ship started in June 2011. The ship was christened in 2013 but delivery, which was scheduled for 2014, was postponed to after 2017 after major issues were undisclosed by a confidential report in May 2017. This report then unveiled that the frigates were overweight and slightly listing by 1.3 degrees starboard. The ship was rejected by the German Navy in December 2017 and returned to its builder.
The issues were corrected in April 2019, when the vessel was finally handed over to the German Navy. The First-in-class ship “Baden-Württemberg” was commissioned in June 2019, “Nordrhein-Westfalen” joined the fleet one year later in June 2020, “Sachsen-Anhalt” has entered the service in May 2021.
Key data for the F125:
Length: 149 m
Width: 18 m
Maximum speed: >26 knots
Displacement: approx. 7,200 t
Crew: max. 190 (of which up to 120 regular crew members)
Major armament: 1 × 127 mm lightweight Otobreda naval gun, 2x RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile, 2 × 27 mm MLG 27 remote-controlled autocannons, 8 × RGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship missiles