The German defense ministry has selected a duo made up of Dutch shipbuilder Damen and its German counterpart Blohm+Voss for the construction of the German Navy’s new MKS 180 “multi-purpose” warships.
The 10,000-ton ships will be built in Hamburg under a design provided by Damen, as was earlier revealed by the Dutch shipbuilder.
The decision on awarding the contract to Damen was first reported by German news site Handelsblatt, which said that Peter Tauber, parliamentary state secretary at the German defense ministry informed a session of the German federal parliament about the decision.
The decision is still subject to an approval from the German cartel office, it was further noted. The latest estimate suggests Germany could set aside 5.27 billion euros for the construction of four ships in the class.
Damen and Blohm+Voss were selected over a duo made up of thyssenkrupp Marine Systems and German Naval Yards Kiel in the final round of the bidding. The selection process started in 2016 and was delayed multiple times. In the process, the ships’ displacement grew from 6,000 to 10,000 tons. They are still being referred to as frigates despite displacing more than the destroyers in service with the navies of the US and the UK.
MKS 180 are to be designed as modular ships, meaning they would be capable of executing anti-submarine, anti-air and surface warfare missions. Interestingly, the navy wants the ships to have all potential mission modules onboard and to be capable of exchanging them on a “flexdeck” without having to go into port.
The ships will measure some 155 meters in length and have a core crew of 110 while an additional 70 crew would be in charge of the mission modules.