Dutch shipbuilder Damen signs contract for construction of four MKS-180 frigates for German Navy

On June 19, 2020, the Dutch Shipbuilder Damen has released a statement to announce that Damen Shipyards Group and the German Bundesamt fur Ausrüstung, Informationstechnik und Nutzung der Bundeswehr signed the contract for the construction of four MKS-180 frigates for the German Navy. Damen is the main contractor for this complex project which it is undertaking, together with partners Blohm+Voss and Thales, in Germany.


On June 19, 2020, the Dutch Shipbuilder Damen has released a statement to announce that Damen Shipyards Group and the German Bundesamt fur Ausrüstung, Informationstechnik und Nutzung der Bundeswehr signed the contract for the construction of four MKS-180 frigates for the German Navy. Damen is the main contractor for this complex project which it is undertaking, together with partners Blohm+Voss and Thales, in Germany.
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Dutch shipbuilder Damen signs contract for construction of four MKS 180 frigate for German Navy 925 001 Artist’s Rendering of an MKS 180 frigate being built for the German Navy. (Picture source Damen)


The combination of companies was previously declared the winner of a European tender; the largest in the history of the German Navy. On 17 June, the necessary financial resources were released by the German Bundestag budget committee. The contract marks the start of the design and construction phase.

Approximately 80% of the project investment remains in Germany as added value. The vessels will be built at Blohm+Voss in Hamburg, but partly also at other shipyard locations in Germany, including Bremen, Kiel and Wolgast. Besides this, approximately 100 small and medium-sized companies from the maritime industry, mechanical engineering and plant construction sectors will be involved in the implementation. These companies originate from almost all German states.

Hein van Ameijden, Managing Director Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding: "I am convinced that with the MKS-180 project, we are building a high-quality frigate that meets all the wishes of the German Navy. It is a German-Dutch project. We are already working well with our partners in Germany; Luerssen, Blohm+Voss, and Thales. The project also offers prospects for further European cooperation. The many years of cooperation between Damen and Thales as part of the Dutch golden ecosystem is an important factor in this success. If the Netherlands continues to invest in innovative projects for its own navy, we can further expand our role within European naval construction. That's good for the Netherlands' strategic role, which fits in with the Defence Industry Strategy."

The German added value and knowledge development also apply to Thales's mission systems acquired within the project. Approximately 70% is supplied by Thales's German branches in Kiel and Wilhelmshaven. This is done in close cooperation with numerous subcontractors.

Gerben Edelijn, CEO of Thales Netherlands: "This historic contract for both the German Navy and Thales is a significant milestone in more than 50 years of cooperation, and confirms our worldwide leading position in the field of high-end naval mission systems. The women and men on board of these innovative frigates can rely on the latest technologies in the field of cyber defense, radar and fire control. The AWWS system, developed for the Netherlands and Belgian Navies, will soon also enable the German Navy to withstand threats of today and the coming decades."

Damen, Lürssen, Bohm+Vos and Thales are delighted with the confidence that the German government places in it. The implementation of the project will begin soon and involves the delivery of four frigates between 2027 and 2031 for an amount of approximately 4.6 billion euros. There is also an option to supply two more frigates after 2032.

According to Naval military experts, the MKS 180 is designed to be used as a multi-purpose combat ship with interchangeable mission-specific modules that can be configured to perform a wide range of naval missions.

The MKS 180 frigate will have a length of 155 meters with a displacement of up to 9,000 tons. With a standard crew of 110 sailors and up to 70 additional crew members, it will be the largest combat ship in service with the Germany Navy.

The MKS 180 frigate will be armed with medium and short air defense missile systems, long-range anti-ship missiles. It will have a 127 mm main gun able to fire extended-range ammunition as well as automatic cannons and machine gun for its self-protection.


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