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Lürssen wins contract to build new spy ships for German Navy

Oste-class fleet service ship Oker
Illustration: German Navy file photo of Oste-class fleet service ship Oker

The German defense ministry has selected military and commercial vessel builder Lürssen to build three new ships that will be used by the German Navy for signals intelligence and reconnaissance missions.

The new 130-meter ships, currently known as Class 424, will replace the Oste-class fleet service ships Oker, Alster, and Oste by 2027.

Class 424 will renew the German Navy’s electronic reconnaissance and information gathering capabilities as the current units have already been in service for more than 30 years as part of the 1st Submarine Squadron.

According to German media reports, the contract for the three ships is worth around two billion euros.

“We are pleased that, following the approval of the budget committee of the German Bundestag, the German ministry of defense has entrusted us with the responsibility of acting as general contractor for this important procurement project,” said Tim Wagner, managing director of Fr. Lürssen Werft GmbH & Co. KG.

“We will now immediately enter the design phase and start talks with potential partners from the shipyard industry and systems engineering. With an inter-shipyard cooperation, we want to combine the know-how and competencies at shipyard locations of the Lürssen Group with the capacities of other northern German shipyards in order to launch the urgently needed new fleet service boats, integrating all necessary resources.”

In addition to the fleet service ships, the German federal parliament has also approved the purchase of new double-hulled tankers. The new Class 707 tankers will replace the two Class 704 tankers Rhön’ and Spessart that have been in service since 1977.

The contract for TKMS for the construction of new Type 212 CD (common design) submarines, which Germany has been working on together with Norway, has also been approved.

Other important projects which received funding under Germany’s 50.3 billion euro defense spending budget for 2022 include the Future Combat Air System (FCAS) and Naval Strike Missile Block 1A.

The modernization of 150 Puma infantry fighting vehicles has also been approved, as well as work on progressing the PEGASUS (PErsistent German Airborne SUrveillance System) airborne, signal-capturing reconnaissance system.