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Damen and HSVA contracts for new 126-class frigates tests


According to a press release published by Damen on April 26, 2021, Shipyards Group and the Hamburg Ship Model Basin have concluded a contract for an extensive series of model tests for the hydrodynamic development of the F126 frigates for the German Navy.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Artist’s Rendering of an MKS 180 frigate being built for the German Navy. (Picture source: Damen)


Damen Naval and the Hamburg Ship Model Basin (HSVA) today signed the contract for comprehensive cooperation relating to hydrodynamic optimisation and the execution of an extensive series of model tests for the new 126-class (F126) frigates. The optimisation work and the tests constitute part of the early development stage during the ship design phase. As part of this process, the properties of the planned ship will be tested under real-life conditions. As such, a true-to-scale model of the F126, measuring several metres long, will be seen for the first time. At the request of the German Navy, together with its partners Blohm+Voss and Thales, Damen will build a total of four frigate class 126 ships after it was named the successful bidder in 2020 as part of a European tender spanning several years. The first ship is expected to be handed over to the German Navy in 2028 in Hamburg. The ships will be constructed in Germany with building taking place in Hamburg, Kiel and Wolgast.

By appointing HSVA, which boasts both a long history and impressive innovative prowess, Damen will be able to draw exclusively on German expertise for testing and trialling the ship’s design. Over the next few months, the model ship will undergo a wide range of tests in various HSVA testing facilities in Hamburg. In addition to tests to evaluate ship resistance, propulsion and manoeuvring in smooth water, the ship’s seakeeping will also be considered, and special attention will be paid to ensuring a high-quality propeller design. This extensive series of tests is the only way to ensure that the high demands that will be placed on the frigates in real-life scenarios will be met.

The upcoming tests will be the most significant milestone so far and an indicator of the success of the ship’s development to date. More than 100 Damen employees have been working extremely hard over the last few months on the development of the design and the ship’s functionality.

Further development work will be carried out and hundreds of sub-systems will be integrated following the test and simulation stage.

126-class frigates (MKS 180 frigate) are the title for a planned frigate class intended to replace the Brandenburg class frigates for the German Navy. The ships are to be the largest surface warships to join the Navy since World War II. The first ship is planned to be commissioned by 2027.