F223 Nordrhein-Westfalen, the second of four 125-class guided missile frigates for the German Navy was christened on April 16, 2015 at the Hamburg site of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems. Following the christening of the first frigate F222 Baden-Württemberg in December 2013, this is a further important milestone in the shipbuilding program for this frigate class. The third frigate F224 Sachsen-Anhalt will be launched in April 2015, the forth frigate F225 Rheinland-Pfalz – in February 2016.
Hannelore Kraft, Premier of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia after which the ship is to be named, will perform the christening ceremony. The frigate F223 Nordrhein-Westfalen is scheduled to be handed over to the German defense procurement agency BAAINBw in mid-2018. The contract for the four frigates is worth around two billion euros in total.
Premier Hannelore Kraft said, «It makes me proud that this ship will carry the name of our federal state across the world’s oceans, mooring at many ports as an ambassador for North Rhine-Westphalia. The state government will be pleased to take the opportunity together with the crew of this ship to represent and present our state».
Dr. Hans Christoph Atzpodien, CEO of ThyssenKrupp Industrial Solutions AG emphasized, «ThyssenKrupp has its roots in the Ruhr region, so it is even more pleasing that North Rhine-Westphalia is acting as sponsor for the second frigate. The F125-class is a completely new type of ship with innovations across numerous fields of technology. It showcases our leading engineering expertise and points the way forward for German naval shipbuilding».
The ARGE F125 consortium, which was awarded the contract to build four F125-class ships for the German Navy in 2007, consists of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems as the lead company and Fr. Lürssen Werft. The pre-fitted bow sections are being manufactured at the Fr. Lürssen Werft shipyards in Bremen and Wolgast. Construction of the stern sections, the joining of the two sections and further fitting out is being carried out at Blohm+Voss Shipyards in Hamburg.
The four F125-class frigates will replace the German Navy’s eight 122 Bremen-class frigates. The ships were developed specially for current and future mission scenarios. In addition to the traditional tasks of national and alliance defense, the 125-class frigates are designed for conflict prevention, crisis management, and international intervention and stabilization missions.
The ships are capable of remaining at sea for 24 months and will be the first to implement the intensive use principle, i.e. significantly enhanced availability in the area of operation. This capability is supported by a reduced crew size and a two-crew strategy under which the crew can be swapped out on location.
Class 125 Frigate
The Blohm+Voss Class 125 stabilisation frigate, now under construction for the German Navy, is especially designed for sustained littoral presence for the stabilisation of crisis regions.
The ship has enhanced Command and Control, boat, helicopter and shore bombardment capabilities for the support of Special Forces amphibious operations. In particular, four large, fast Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIBs), 50 Special Forces, and two 20-feet/6-meter containers may be embarked.
The ship has palletised cargo routes for efficient replenishment and rapid operational disembarkation. Incorporating all of the tough survivability features of its predecessors, the Blohm+Voss Classes 123 and 124, the Blohm+Voss Class 125 introduces the «twoisland» concept, whereby critical Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence (C3I), sensors and effectors are split between separated superstructure «islands» forward and aft, allowing the ship to continue to fight even after severe damage.
As a world-first in frigate logistic support, the Blohm+Voss Class 125 logistic engineering has been specially tailored for the ship to remain on station in a distant theatre of operations for up to two years without base or dockyard maintenance. In this concept, the crew is rotated while the ship remains in theatre.
|Length overall||149 m/489 feet|
|Beam maximum||18.8 m/61.7 feet|
|Draught||5.0 m/16.4 feet|
|Displacement (approximately)||7,100 t|
|Speed||26 knots/30 mph/48 km/h|
|Range||4,000 NM/4,603 miles/7,408 km at a speed of 18 knots/21 mph/33 km/h|
|CODLAG||Combined diesel-electric and gas|
|CPP (Controllable Pitch Propellers)||2|
|Diesels MTU 20 V 4000||4 × 3,015 kW (total 12.06 MW)|
|Propulsion Electric Motors||2 × 4.5 MW (total 9 MW)|
|Gas Turbine GE LM 2500||1 × 20 MW|
|Supernumerary (Helicopter/Special Forces)||70|
|RHIBs (11-meter length)||4|