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German Navy cuts steel for first replenishment tanker

Photo: Meyer Werft

A June 29 steel-cutting ceremony in Papenburg, Germany, signalled the start of construction for the first of two new Type 707 fleet replenishment tankers destined for the German Navy.

Expected to launch in early 2025, the replacement of the Thön-class units for the German Navy will see the construction of two supply vessels led by Bremen-based NVL Group in collaboration with Meyer Werft shipyard.

Marking the initiation of the contract signed in mid-2021 between the customer and industry partners, the first steel plate cutting sets the wheels in motion for the construction, commissioning, and subsequent sea trials of the platforms at Meyer Werft Neptun shipyard in Rostock.

NVL Group will handle project management, naval-specific parts, deployment systems, and extensive services to ensure supply readiness, aligning with the logistic system of the German Armed Forces (Bundeswehr).

The 707 Class naval tankers have a length of 173 meters and accommodate a core crew of 42, along with an additional embarkation contingent of 23. They will have a cargo tank capacity of 12,000 m3.

These fleet tankers, with a displacement of 20,000 tons, are specifically built for offshore fuel supply, enabling extended deployment time for naval vessels in their operational area. Notably, they possess the capability to refuel two ships simultaneously on both sides.

“The start of production of the new replenishment oilers marks the renewal of building tankers for us. We are ensuring the sustainability of our maritime Task Forces by supplying military fuel on the high seas, while at the same time meeting current environmental protection standards and, above all, making a significant contribution to both national and allied defenses,” said Annette Lehnigk-Emden, President of the Federal Office for German Armed Forces Equipment Information Technology and In-Service Support.

“Furthermore, I am delighted that NVL Group, together with Meyer Werft, are two German shipyards, which are having a fundamental impact on sustaining these capabilities with their knowledge and experience,” she added.