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After the federal government announced yesterday in a response to a parliamentary question that it was planning a delivery of the multi-purpose combat ship 180 for 2028, the award of the order is now moving forward with rapid steps. Thales will take over the delivery and integration of the command and weapon deployment system. The main contractor for the women's project has on November 17th. signed a corresponding contract with Thales.

Screenshot: Thales

This lifts a veil over the equipment of the four frigates of the German Navy. Thales will supply its Tacticos command and control system and the Above Water Warfare System (AWWS). These enable the integration of NSM (Naval Strike Missile, Kongsberg), ESSM Block 2 (Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile, Raytheon), RAM (Rolling Airframe Missile, Raytheon / Diehl BGT) and the 127mm artillery from Vulcano and the TRS-4D Hensoldt surveillance radars.

Screenshot: Thales

From the latest news, including one YouTube video, it can be seen that Thales provides the components for satellite communication, the gatekeeper surveillance system, the Mirador fire control system and the new X-band multifunctional radar APAR Blk 2 with its Tacticos command and control system.

APAR Blk2 enables the simultaneous combat of aerial and surface targets. According to Thales, its performance is only limited by the rate of fire of the effector in question., Photo: Thales

The order worth 1.5 billion euros, which is to be implemented by the Thales Marine Competence Centers in Hengelo (Netherlands), Kiel and Wilhelmshaven, includes four ship systems, logistics services and various test and training locations on land as well as the option for one or two more ships. Thales will work with a significant number of sub-suppliers in Germany. The federal budget includes a total of 5.72 billion euros for the four multi-purpose combat ships 180. The delivery of the four multi-purpose combat ships to the German Armed Forces - including yesterday's parliamentary statement - is to begin in mid-2028 and be completed by mid-2032.

Damen points out that the German naval shipbuilding industry is involved in the project. The value added share of German companies is 80 percent of the total investment. Both Damen and Thales see the conclusion as confirmation of their endeavors to achieve greater cooperation with shipyards and partner industries in European naval construction programs. Both companies emphasize the "proven cooperation between the German and Dutch marine industries". Hein van Ameijden, Managing Director of Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding: “This binational project is a perfect example of the German-Dutch cooperation in the defense industry. It can serve as an impetus for further future bi- or multinational projects within the framework of European cooperation. Together with Thales and Blohm + Voss, we are realizing a project that not only meets the requirements of the German Navy, but will also make an important contribution to setting European standards. We get shipbuilding competence in Germany, the Netherlands and thus also in Europe as a whole. "


Gatekeeper has up to four sensor units, each with non-cooled infrared cameras, and three TV cameras with a combined view of 120 ° in azimuth. The 360 ​​° surveillance image is available for several operator stations, with each operator having his own “software-controlled window”.

Gatekeeper is Thales' new addition to the passive surveillance product family. A non-rotating IR / TV camera configuration is designed to provide a continuous 360-degree visual panoramic view of the ship's surroundings. Particularly suitable for the close range of ships in port, at anchor or when navigating in difficult waters also against small surface targets, Photo: Thales

The Mirador optronic fire control system is a compact, digital electro-optical system for observation and target tracking. The previous version of APAR Blk2, APAR, is currently on the four De Zeven Provinciën-class frigates of the Royal Netherlands Navy, the three Saxony-class frigates (F124) of the German Navy and the three patrol ships of the Iver Huitfeldt-class of the Danish Navy in action. Regarding ship-to-air missiles, APAR Blk 2 supports ESSM Block2 and the future Standard Missile family. AWWS is a combat command system whose development contract Thales signed in 2019 for the new M frigates of the Belgian and Dutch navies.


Thanks to its combination of color television camera, IR camera, optional low-light camera and eye-safe laser rangefinder, Mirador allows monitoring and tracking of targets and also enables Naval Gunfire Support, Photo: Thales

From the known details it can be deduced that another manufacturer could possibly be used for the underwater world.

Other well-known suppliers for command and weapon deployment systems are Saab, Lockheed Martin, Elbit, DCNS / Naval Group, Atlas Elektronik and kta naval systems.

No comments were available from the Federal Office for Procurement, Information Technology and Use of the Bundeswehr or the Navy.

Hans Uwe Mergener

The multi-purpose combat ship 180 ... soon to be F126 class, Photo: Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding