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On June 17, 2020, the German Bundestag advised the multi-purpose combat ship 180 in addition to other armaments projects. Both the Defense and Budgets committees approved the € 25 million bill and agreed to lift the qualified lock on the commitment. This means that nothing stands in the way of signing a contract.

In January 2020, the order for the multipurpose combat ship (MKS) 180 went to the women group (based in Gorinchem, the Netherlands), who started with a design based on their Sigma class. The remaining German competitor in the international tender, German Naval Yards Kiel, which had started as a subcontractor with thyssenkrupp Marine Systems, was left behind. In mid-May 2020, German Naval Yards Kiel and Lürssen announced their intention to 'permanent cooperation in naval shipbuilding', with the Bremen company taking over the helm. Under the moderation of the Federal Government's Maritime Coordinator, Norbert Brackmann MdB, this structural intervention in the marine shipyard landscape was brought to an end. The antitrust assessment is still pending.

If the Dutch expressed their intention of involving German partners to a large extent (80 percent of the total net investment should remain in Germany as added value), then the merger (subject to merger control approval) will allow another German construction site to be built for the multipurpose combat ship 180 Available. Which could have a positive effect on the completion of the four ships. Because women intends to have construction number 1 ready in 2027 - at the moment there is blurring between delivery and commissioning.

Shortly after the decision was announced - and this would be a pointer to the seriousness of the German integration, which was invoked by women - Hensoldt made public the delivery of four TRS-4D ship radars based on AESA technology.

The procurement of four multi-purpose combat ships 180 (MKS 180) is taken into account in the federal budget with a total of 5.722581 billion euros. Appropriations of EUR 396 million have been budgeted for the 2020 financial year, and a commitment appropriation of EUR 5.308 billion has been distributed for subsequent years, staggered in annual slices from 2021 to 2032. An option for two additional MKS 180s for which the Navy is advocating has not yet been considered in the household.

Defense Committee Chairman Wolfgang Hellmich, Member of the German Bundestag, commented to ES&T: “Today's parliamentary decision to implement the MKS 180 project is accompanied by a strong signal to our European partners and a clear commitment by Germany to its alliance commitments. With the decision to build four ships, we hope that the project will be implemented quickly. Our navy needs this ship, including the training and care environment. In doing so, we are also fulfilling the commitments entered into by NATO with a ship whose capabilities can be developed in a modular manner. ”

An appointment to sign the contract has not yet been given. The popping of the champagne corks in Gorinchen, Bremen, Kiel and Rostock (and on behalf of many other suppliers in Taufkirchen) was widely audible.


Background of the MKS 180 range of capabilities

Regarding the required range of capabilities of the multi-purpose combat ship MKS 180: It should be a naval warfare agent for high-intensity, multi-dimensional naval warfare and be suitable for missions in distant sea areas that can cope with complex situations such as demanding environmental conditions. The multi-purpose combat ship is said to be capable of underground hunting as well as of fighting sea and land targets. It is equipped with on-board helicopters and can accommodate special staff as well as additional personnel and material if necessary. So a unit that is optimized for high-intensity naval warfare.

The five-meter-long and around two thousand tons larger multi-purpose combat ship is used by the frigates of the Baden-Württemberg class, of which two units, the "Baden-Württemberg" (June 2019) and the "North Rhine-Westphalia" (recently, in June 2020) ) were put into service, take over some features - above all automation and low maintenance of the technical systems as well as the multi-crew concept. While the crew should rotate every four months, the ship will be able to remain in operation for up to two years.

For the Navy, the multi-purpose combat ship fits in with the return to national and alliance defense initiated with the 2016 White Paper.

The deputy defense policy spokeswoman for the SPD parliamentary group Siemtje Möller, Member of the Bundestag: "MKS 180 meets the conceptual needs of the navy and the capabilities of the ship cover a broad spectrum, three-dimensional naval warfare combined with up to 24 months of standing time at sea thanks to the multi-crew concept no other ship in our navy can. The initially four units were to be promptly supplemented by two more. With the MKS180, the capabilities of the navy can be expanded and this has a positive effect on the operational readiness, which is also increasingly in demand from our partners. On site in Wilhelmshaven, we are of course particularly pleased to supplement the existing flagpoles with those of the future F126! ”

Hans Uwe Mergener


Characteristics and tasks

Length: about 155 meters of construction waterline
Displacement: maximum 9,000 tons
Berths Capacity: 110 Personen Stammbesatzung

70 people embarkation quotas

Operating time: 24 Months
Shipping routes: worldwide
Ice Class: 1C / E1 for sea areas with ice formation
Life: 30 years
armament: · Flugabwehrraketen mittlerer und kurzer Reichweite

Long-range missile missiles

· Main gun 127 millimeters with ammunition increased in range

· Water cannons, heavy machine guns, light naval guns

· Emergency boats, reconnaissance drones, submarine on-board helicopters

Primary function: · Selbstverteidigung und Kampfeinsätze

· Creation of a maritime situation picture above and under water

· Maritime surveillance and embargo control, including boarding

· Military evacuation in crisis situations

· Accompanying protection for merchant ships

· Management of task forces in sea