On January 28, 2022 ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems handed over the frigate «RHEINLAND-PFALZ» to the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) in Hamburg. With that, all four ships of the F125 class, which ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems built together with the NVL Group in the ARGE F125 consortium, have been successfully delivered.
The ship was handed over to the BAAINBw, represented by the Head of the Acceptance Commission, Matthias Rohde, and the responsible project manager at the BAAINBw, Marc Steffens, during a ceremony in Hamburg, which was kept low profile due to the pandemic. On behalf of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems, Programme Manager Patrick Buggenthin signed the handover papers. Representing ARGE, Chief Executive Officer Doctor Rolf Wirtz said: «We have now delivered all of the type F125 ships. The other three vessels are already in the in-service phase and have since proven their technical capabilities and reliability. We are convinced that the fourth vessel, the «RHEINLAND-PFALZ», will also be successful. We wish the ship and crew ‘fair winds and following seas’. Full operational readiness of all ships for the German Navy remains our most important goal. On behalf of all employees, I would like to express my gratitude for the trust placed in us. At the same time, I would like to thank all our industry partners for their support and for what has been achieved. In our view, the innovative and highly complex ships of this class make an important contribution to a navy equipped for the future. We look forward to continuing the good cooperation with the German Navy».
The first ship of the F125 class is scheduled to enter service in mid-2023. In order to create the necessary conditions for this phase, a comprehensive support contract regarding the Technical Logistic Support (TLS) for the F125 frigates was concluded between ARGE F125 and the BAAINBw at the end of last year.
The completely redesigned vessels of the F125 class have highly complex systems and around 28,000 sensors that enable a very high degree of automation, making it possible to reduce the required number of crew members by about half compared to previous frigate classes. Moreover, the ships can remain in their theatre of operations for up to two years. Besides the traditional tasks of national and alliance defence, they are designed for conflict prevention and crisis management as well as for intervention and stabilization operations in an international context. In addition to the ability to engage targets both on land and on water, they are equipped with air defence systems and helicopters.
The contract for the construction of the four frigates became effective in June 2007. The concept, design and detailed design phases followed. Around 90 percent of the highly complex systems on board the F125 were developed specifically for this new type of ship.
ARGE F125 comprises ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems as the lead company and the Bremen-based NVL Group (formerly Lürssen Defence). The pre-fitted bow sections were produced at the shipyards of the NVL Group in Bremen and in Wolgast on the Baltic Sea. Construction of the stern sections, the joining of the two vessel halves, further fitting-out, commissioning and trials all took place at the NVL shipyard Blohm+Voss in Hamburg.
Principal data of the F125
|Length||149 m/489 feet|
|Beam||18 m/59 feet|
|Maximum speed||> 26 knots/30 mph/48 km/h|
|Displacement||approximately 7,200 t|
|Complement||maximum 190 persons (of which 126 are regular crew)|