Dutch shipbuilder Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding and defense technology company Thales have signed a €1.5B contract for the delivery and full integration of Thales’ mission and combat systems for the German Navy’s four MKS 180 warships.
The system will be designed by Damen and completely built by German shipyards, under Damen’s project management.
Damen, together with German shipbuilder Blohm+Voss, is building the four German Navy ships under a contract worth over 5 billion euros. While classified as frigates, the 10,000-ton ships will measure 155 meters in length and will perform anti-submarine, anti-air and surface warfare missions thanks to a modular design. The German 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 first ship of the MKS 180 class will be operational in 2028. The entire program will run for over ten years.
Thales’ mission and combat system includes the 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 warfare suite that helps the ship crews to counter and neutralize complex saturation attacks by continuously analyzing and optimizing the tactical environment and deployment of resources. AWWS will be combined with the Bl2 Active Phased Array Radar, the evolved version of Thales’ AESA (Active Electronically Scanned Array) multifunction radar. In 2019, Thales signed an AWWS development contract for the new M-frigates for the Belgian and Dutch Navies.
Thales will deliver work under the contract from its naval “centers of excellence” in Hengelo (the Netherlands), Kiel and Wilhelmshaven (Germany) in cooperation with a number of German subcontractors.
“Winning such a substantial contract within the strict framework of an objective scoring system reinforces our global leading position in high-end naval integration. Thanks to our innovative capabilities, the German Navy will be able to execute both current and future tasks whilst substantially contributing to stability in the operational theatres all over the world.” Gerben Edelijn, CEO of Thales Netherlands.
“As a partner in the MKS 180 program, Thales Deutschland not only contributes to a high German value-added share, but also brings many years of experience in European cooperation and proven systems expertise,” Dr. Christoph Hoppe, CEO of Thales Deutschland.