The German Navy has started construction of the fourth of five additional K130 corvettes it ordered in 2017 under a 2.4 billion euro deal.
The keel-laying ceremony, which marked the official start of work on the ship, took place on July 13 at the Lürssen yard in Wolgast, in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.
Augsburg, as the second-last of the five additional Braunschweig-class corvettes is to be named, will be joining the first five units built between 2008 and 2013.
The second batch of ships is being delivered by the K130 consortium (ARGE) consisting of Fr. Lürssen Werft, thyssenkrupp Marine Systems and GERMAN NAVAL YARDS KIEL (GNYK). Ship sections are being built and pre-fitted at the Lürssen shipyard in Bremen and GNYK in Kiel. Final assembly will take place at the Blohm+Voss shipyard, a Lürssen subsidiary.
The first from the second batch of ships is being prepared for sea trials while the second is expected to hit the water soon. Lürssen says the project to deliver the new ships is on schedule.
K130 corvettes measure 90 meters in length and feature two 27 mm Mauser MLG27 remote-controlled cannons, RBS-15 anti-ship missiles, a RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) close-in weapon system, and a OTO Melara 76 mm gun. The corvettes will also be operating the V-200 vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).
According to information that is currently available, the second batch of ships will have improved combat systems, new masts with improved radars, and the capability to deploy an additional RHIB.
In addition to the 10 corvettes currently in service or being built, the German Navy is open to the purchase of additional ships in the class.
According to a plan submitted to the federal parliament last year, the service would prefer replacing the first five K130 corvettes with new ships instead of investing in costly mid-life overhauls from 2025.
This would mean that the existing Braunschweig-class corvettes would have less than 20 years of service at the time when they potentially start retiring after 2025. The retired ships would be offered for sale to a NATO partner, should the plan be accepted.