Germany's new F-125-class frigate, the Baden-Württemberg, is christened. (ThyssenKrupp Marine)
BONN — Germany christened the first of its F125-class frigates Dec. 12 at ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems in Hamburg.
Named “Baden-Württemberg” after a federal state in the southwest of the country, its delivery is scheduled for November 2016. The Navy has ordered four ships for about €2 billion (US $2.75 billion).
The F125 class is designed for conflict prevention and crisis-management missions as well as intervention and stabilization missions anywhere in the world. The ships are capable of staying in an area of operation for up to two years, being at sea for up to 5,000 hours a year, and swapping out crews on location.
Technological innovations and automation allow for much smaller crews than on an average ship of that class, consisting of only about 120 sailors, officials said.
“The F125 is a completely new type of frigate with numerous technological innovations which will secure a solid basic workload for the shipyards involved in the coming years and help the German naval shipbuilding industry maintain and expand its leading position in key technologies,” said Hans Christoph Atzpodien, CEO of ThyssenKrupp Industrial Solutions and chairman of the Supervisory Board of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems.
With a displacement of around 7,100 tons and a length of 149 meters, the F125 class will be considerably larger than any other German frigate. Maximum speed is about 26 knots.
In addition to crew and a helicopter, there is also room for a detachment of up to 50 special forces and their equipment. Those teams can be deployed by the ship’s two helicopters or four 10-meter speedboats.
The F125 class, to be outfitted with a 127mm main gun, also has a special capability for tactical fire support against land targets. They also carry eight Harpoon missiles, which are supposed to be replaced with the future RBS 15 joint sea/land attack missile.
In addition to different countermeasures, the ships will have automatic gun systems of different calibers and two RAM-missile starters. Additional options include non-lethal weapons, such as water-cannons.
ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems heads the consortium that was awarded the contract to build the new frigate class. Its partners are two other German shipyards, Friedrich Lürssen of Bremen and Blohm+Voss of Hamburg. The four F125s will replace six aging F122 Bremen-class frigates, which have anti-submarine-warfare as their main task.