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Between the lines one could take on a specially set up on November 4 media day two messages from the representation of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS).

The Kiel-based company is well positioned. This counterpoint to the not always positive in the previous reports of the Essenes parent company. Keep it that way, but the Kiel-based company makes as it were intrinsic. But when it comes to international opportunities, especially in the export as well as in positioning in the course of any European shipyard consolidation, for this is a good part of the responsibilities for the designers in Berlin.

TKMS: "We do not just build naval vessels - we develop the future"

ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems sees itself well on the way to modern naval companies in Europe. CEO accounted aboard the "Saxony-Anhalt" Dr. Rolf Wirtz in the presence of the Schleswig-Holstein Prime Minister Daniel Guenther about 40 media representatives. been achieved both above and below water and is in the field of maritime electronics much. For example, the largest ever built in the Federal Republic of submarine for Singapore as well as the third of four submarines for Egypt was baptized in the first half. In addition, has already selected in April 2019 Brazil TKMS for the construction of four corvettes as the preferred bidder. In Germany, Kiel in the construction of the second batch of K130 corvettes are involved. And in June this year, the "Baden-Württemberg" was provided by the German navy in service, the first of four Class 125 frigates, ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems whose construction is in charge.

The belonging to the company Atlas Elektronik has developed the first anti-torpedo torpedo SeaSpider '. With ORCCA which emerged from the joint venture between TKMS and the Norwegian Kongsberg kta naval Systems introduced a combat control system for submarines. In addition, the fuel cell system of the fourth generation comes as a separate development, said operating submarine not only for navies, but also for the other, and civilian maritime areas is interesting.
In service to ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems sees strong position. In Portugal the contract in India modernization of a submarine was acquired for the modernization of submarine and ships.

In order for these positive messages can be written in the future, the Kiel-based company plans large investments. 250 million euros in infrastructure. Among other things, creating a new shipbuilding hall with capacity for large section production, a second line equipment in the dock for the equipment of submarines, a new stage system and a modernized service hall and a Shiplift. Production could you make it more efficient and more economical - digital manufacturing has arrived.

Even when it comes to the staff, ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems will increase. The now 6,000 heads counting workforce is to be extended to 500th available for development, design and manufacture not only engineers but also skilled workers on the 'Wanted List'. However, the company invests not only in numbers but also in staff training and development.

In addition, the step has completed the system integrator. covering even the integration of the Atlas Elektronik, which brought not only the field of underwater weapons and sensors, but with the Hagenuk the naval communication. Further, in TKMS the areas above and below water were merged. This applies currently engineering, and acquisition. TKMS designs, designs, develops, designs and manufactures and integrates command and weapon control systems. It is more than just a yard. ' In this regard, a unique feature in the German naval shipbuilding.

Berlin side protection (! Not favored!) Needed

Ultimately, the projection is indeed a personal contribution, but it depends on two variables that the company can not influence. First, there are the political decisions on exports. Reliability is at stake. Lack it because competitive disadvantages are virtually inevitable.

to forgive and also the way, authoritative procurement projects abroad, ultimately leads to a weakening of positions in international competition. To that extent, is that potential customers will ask why they should purchase for a German product, when German forces use the armaments of others.

The competition is not sleeping, she plays the contrary hardball. And, in view of there more or less clearly manifesting government side support or even participation, not always at eye level.

In contrast, TKMS spent annually on a three-digit million amount for its own research and development. To give projects like, SeaSpider 'fuel cell or ORCCA eventually be able to roll it out again. Without exports, this could not finance. certainly not from the order volume for the German Army, so for their own navy. And spin-offs from military developments in civil applications, eg fuel cells (about their broad application not only in shipping but (like in Japan) in the automotive sector) are obviously not feasible in Germany.

Basically, this goes for all operations of the naval shipbuilding, included the suppliers: the order situation of the army alone will not ensure survival.

Confident in dire straits

Insofar as the announced plans of the TKMS are a bold step. The defense of the market-leading position in the U-boat building is not a given (Federal Center for Political Education, database SIPRI: is the sale of submarines without nuclear drive are German shipyards export champion For no country were more of these boats in other states sold as from Germany. . So far, submarines Fast were longer supplied in 17 countries on four continents than 120. every second country whose naval submarines is equipped with, has boats from German production.). Here, as in other areas, it needs political support. In regard to the export opportunities. And that postulate a level playing field in terms of competition in Europe, on the level playing field is a lofty ambition meets the different design levels of the participants.

The warship subsidiary of ThyssenKrupp brings in position. As one, if not all areas in naval shipbuilding completely covering Systemhaus, the third largest defense company in Germany can look with a healthy self-confidence in the future.

Hans Uwe Mergener