During its quadrennial SubCon submarine conference held in Kiel, ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems unveiled the 4th Generation Fuel Cell (FC4G) for submarine applications after having finished an extensive test program with more than 70,000 operating hours in the test environment. This is an improvement of an already unrivalled and proven system.
Doctor Rolf Wirtz, CEO of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems: «Our customers have been using our fuel cell systems for more than 15 years now. With this 4th generation we are making something great even greater. This is the next big step with huge improvements in availability, redundancy, and stealth. I am proud that we are again advancing our customers by setting new standards».
The FC4G is designed to be a high-availability modular system composed of redundant components to retain a maximum performance at all times. In terms of H2-storage, the systems rely on the well-proven and exceptionally safe system of metal hydride cylinders as previous generations. These cylinders do not contain any active components; thus, reducing failure to a minimum holding hydrogen molecules safe in place in the crystal lattice of the hydride. Since hydrogen is fed to the system in its purest form, no chemical conversion is required and, therewith, the efficiency of the overall system remains very high.
In contrast, reformer systems inevitably create CO2 out of a liquid fuel such as diesel oil leaving a trace of CO2 – and potentially other by-products contained in diesel oil such as Sulphur – that must be dissolved into the surrounding sea water by operating electrical pumps. The same applies to AIP systems based on other principles, such as Stirling engines, closed-cycle diesels, or closed-cycle steam turbines. Not so the FC4G system. The only by-product besides electrical energy is pure water, which is stored on board for weight
compensation. H2 is easily available where ever chemical industry is operative, typically in every customer country, or may be produced by utilizing green energy sources by splitting water into H2 and O2.
Overall signatures of the FC4G are the most favorable ones on the market. No byproducts put overboard, the thermal and the acoustic signatures are kept to a minimum while the overall system efficiency is twice as good as any combustion engine.
Philipp Schön, Head of Product Sales Submarines: «These are the reasons, why 38 systems were contracted so far with 7 customer navies, another 10 systems presently being under negotiation».
The Schleswig-Holstein shipyard GERMAN NAVAL YARDS KIEL (GNYK) submitted the final offer for the construction of the multi-purpose warship MKS 180 on 18 July. Together with its cooperation partner ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems, the company is competing for the largest naval contract in the history of Bundeswehr. GNYK is the only remaining German general contractor in the European competition of the German Ministry of Defense.
Jörg Herwig, Managing Director of GERMAN NAVAL YARDS KIEL, said: «By submitting our offer, we have done everything in our power to obtain this contract for Germany. Should we win the contract, not only we as a shipyard, but hundreds of small and medium-sized companies throughout Germany will benefit from the project. It is decisive that we as German shipyard receive orders from our own government. This is the only way we can become less dependent on exports».
The construction of MKS 180 could provide a major impetus for German naval shipbuilding. «This is vital for the innovative strength of the entire industry. Furthermore, thousands of jobs could be preserved permanently. With the construction of MKS 180, we as German shipbuilding companies have the opportunity to maintain our technological leadership in international competition», said Herwig.
GERMAN NAVAL YARDS KIEL will develop, design and build MKS 180 in Germany. The initial plan is to build four ships. The decision on the allocation is now incumbent on the Federal Ministry of Defence. A decision is expected at the end of 2019.
GNYK has a first-class infrastructure and the necessary experience to build technologically highly complex naval vessels. The shipyard is also able to repair simultaneously several large ships. An operating shipyard infrastructure on the Baltic Sea is of particular importance in terms of security policy for NATO operations or military exercises.
On May 23, 2019, the world’s most modern corvette was named INS Magen at a ceremony in Kiel. This marks another important milestone in the ongoing program of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems as General Contractor to build four next-generation SA’AR-6 class missile corvettes for the Israeli Navy. The ship was named by Mrs. Eti Sharvit, wife of Vice Admiral Eli Sharvit, Chief of the Israeli Navy, in presence of high-level representatives from the Israeli Government and Navy as well as high-ranking German Navy officials.
Doctor Rolf Wirtz, CEO of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems: «We are very proud to be contributing to Israel’s security. The corvettes are the most advanced and most sizeable vessels that ever served in the Israeli Navy. With the final fitting out being conducted by Israeli industry, the ships will also largely contribute to the country’s economy».
The ships have the stealthy design of a low-signature missile corvette with tailor-made solutions and numerous new technologies on board. The contract for the delivery of four SA’AR 6 corvettes was signed in May 2015. After the design phase, the construction phase started with the steel cutting ceremony of the first-of-class in February 2018. Only 15 months after the first steel cut, the ship was undocked, fulfilling its very ambitious
schedule. The INS Magen is planned to be delivered in spring 2020 after completion of construction and testing. The other three ships will follow subsequently in intervals of a few months.
This program proofs once more: The project partners ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems and German Naval Yards Kiel implement complex ship building programs not only with the highest quality, but also within highly ambitious schedules.
The third of four 209/1400mod class submarines for the Navy of the Arab Republic of Egypt was named and launched on May 3, 2019 at the shipyard of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems in Kiel. As part of the ceremony, Vice Admiral Ahmed Khaled, Commander-in-Chief of the Egyptian Navy, officially named the boat «S43». The boat will now be intensively tested.
Doctor Rolf Wirtz, CEO of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems: «This significant milestone in the construction program for the Egyptian Navy is based on an open and trusting dialogue with our customer as well as the competence of our employees and suppliers. These are key factors on our successful way to become Europe’s most modern naval company».
The contract for the delivery of the first two 209/1400mod class submarines to the Arab Republic of Egypt was signed in 2011. In 2015, Egypt decided to take the option for two additional units of the most recent version of the class 209 «family»: A compact submarine featuring reliability, high combat strength, long submerged range, high submerged speeds, low signatures and excellent handling characteristics.
The first submarine, named «S41», was handed over in December 2016 and the second submarine, named «S42», in August 2017. The program is planned to end with the handover of the fourth ship in 2021.
The Águas Azuis Consortium, formed by ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems, Embraer Defense & Security and Atech, was selected by the Brazilian Navy for the construction of four defense ships in the Tamandaré Corvettes Class Program (CCT) as preferred bidder. The result was announced on March 28, 2019 and represents a new milestone for the country’s maritime defense and naval industry.
With ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems’ leadership and its naval systems expertise, the Águas Azuis Consortium companies will now form a Specific Purpose Company (SPC) for the implementation phase of the program. Based on a long-term relationship and strong presence in Brazil, companies and their subsidiaries have built a solid national partnership with proven capability to retain technology and ensure its development not only for the CCT Program, but also for future strategic defense projects in the country.
«We are very honored by the Brazilian Navy to entrust us with the mission to build the Tamandaré Corvettes Class. Being part of the CCT Program reinforces our leadership position and the proven technologies we have offered to the naval defense industry around the world for almost two centuries», said Doctor Rolf Wirtz, CEO of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems. «This partnership will bring high-skilled jobs and technology to Brazil, strengthening its defense industry», Wirtz adds.
«In this consortium with ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems we offer a solid national partnership model with proven capability to retain the transfer of technology, ensuring its development for future strategic defense projects in Brazil. We have always been confident and the today’s result demonstrates that our proposal has truly addressed the operational needs of the Brazilian Navy», said Jackson Schneider, President and CEO of Embraer Defense & Security.
With the CCT Program, the Brazilian Navy will expand and modernize its fleet. With four corvettes scheduled for delivery between 2024 and 2028, the Navy will now have new Escort Ships to counter possible threats, ensure the protection of maritime traffic, and control the Brazilian jurisdictional waters, the so-called Blue Amazon, which totals over 4.5 million km². The escort ships will also play an important role in peace and humanitarian aid missions, in contribution to the Brazilian Diplomacy.
The CCT Program will bring real contributions to the Brazilian economy:
Local content of more than 40% during ships building and the development of state-of-the-art systems;
Generation of more than 1,000 direct jobs and approximately 4,000 indirect jobs;
Competitiveness to meet the future demands of the Brazilian Navy and export of naval defense products;
Inclusion of research and development centers;
In-service support capability to a high-tech and long-life product.
The program contemplates a solid Transfer of Technology (ToT) in the naval engineering for military shipbuilding, combat and platform management systems.
One of the most modern shipyards in Brazil, Aliança-Oceana will act as the ship builder of the Águas Azuis Consortium, as well as ToT receiver of military shipbuilding. Located in Itajaí (Santa Catarina State), a region with a strong vocation for shipbuilding, the shipyard is part of Oceana Offshore Group, a company with more than 20 years’ experience in shipbuilding and offshore maritime operations. With approximately 310,000 square meters, Oceana has the capacity to build 4 to 6 ships per year, and applies the most innovative engineering and construction processes, with high level of automation and cutting-edge technology. It also has facilities located in Niterói (Rio de Janeiro State), which can serve as logistics and services support base for the Brazilian Navy.
Atech, an Embraer Group company, will be the supplier of CMS (Combat Management System) and IPMS (Integrated Platform Management System) of the Tamandaré Class corvettes and receiver of ToT in cooperation with ATLAS ELEKTRONIK, a subsidiary of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems, and L3 MAPPS. Located in Rio de Janeiro (RJ) and São Paulo (SP), Atech has 500 engineers specializing in software and hardware development for defense applications and has unique expertise in systems engineering and situational awareness technologies of decision-making.
Embraer Defense & Security will integrate sensors and weaponry into the combat system, bringing the program to its 50 years’ experience in in-service support solutions.
The MEKO Class – authentic ship for blue waters
The Águas Azuis Consortium presented to the Brazilian Navy a proposal based on the concept of the MEKO Class, a world reference through proven solutions in shipbuilding. Its modular design facilitates local integration and transfer of technology, helping to reduce acquisition, maintenance and modernization costs. Combining state-of-the-art technology, innovation and robust combat capabilities, the MEKO Class is a true-blue water vessel. These vessels have exceptional qualities of autonomy and robustness. As a result, several Navies from all over the world have a flexible, versatile combat platform and a general naval environment for diversified mission profiles.
Since 1982, 82 MEKO Class corvettes and frigates have been delivered to Marines from 14 different nations, 37 of which were produced outside Germany and all still in full operation – offering a life cycle of more than 40 years. This class combines the benefits of five generations of ships thanks to its design iteration, whereby the best design characteristics of each vessel evolve into the next, ensuring that the new generations have solid, proven maturity, technology, materials and standards.
The third 125 class frigate, the F224 «Sachsen-Anhalt», has taken to the sea for the first time. On February 22, 2018 the ship left the shipyard in Hamburg for scheduled in-port trials. The ship’s technical systems and equipment, including its propulsion system, maneuvering behavior and technical operations, will be tested over a period of around two weeks. The trials will take the ship from Hamburg via the river Elbe to the North Sea before returning to Hamburg after completing the test program. In addition to technical specialists from the German defense procurement agency BAAINBw, the testing team from the ARGE F125 consortium and employees of other companies involved, members of the future naval crew are also on board. Following the F222 «Baden-Württemberg» and the F223 «Nordrhein-Westfalen», the F224 «Sachsen-Anhalt» is now the third of the F125 class frigates to take to the open seas.
The completely redesigned F125 class ships have an extremely high degree of automation with approximately 28,000 electric devices, permitting a significantly smaller crew size compared with previous frigate classes. At the same time, they are capable of remaining in their area of operation for up to two years. The newly developed ships are thus the first to implement the so-called intensive use principle. In addition to the high level of automation, this is also made possible by a multiple-crew strategy that enables the entire crew to be swapped out during deployment. With sanitary facilities (including shower) in each cabin, a small gym and even internet connections, the ships meet the demands of modern crew members.
The ARGE F125 consortium comprises ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems as the lead company and Fr. Lürssen Werft in Bremen. The pre-fitted bow sections were 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 under the direction of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems.
149 m/489 feet
18.8 m/61.7 feet
5.0 m/16.4 feet
26 knots/30 mph/48 km/h
4,000 NM/4,603 miles/7,408 km at a speed of 18 knots/21 mph/33 km/h
According to Jens Kastner, IHS Jane’s Navy International correspondent, Algeria’s first MEKO A-200 frigate was commissioned in Algiers on 21 April in a ceremony attended by Lieutenant General Ahmed Gaid Salah, who serves as both the chief-of-staff of the military and deputy defence minister.
The Ministry of Defence said the arrival of Erradii (910) marked an important step in Algeria’s naval modernisation programme.
Built at the German Naval Yards in Kiel, Erradii (910) is the first of two MEKO A-200 frigates being built for Algeria by ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) under a contract first reported in April 2012.
Photographs have been released on the internet showing the second vessel, which will reportedly be commissioned as Herrad (911), and was in the water by 11 December 2015.
Blohm+Voss MEKO A-200 Class Frigate
Workhorses of the sea, the Blohm+Voss MEKO A-200, follows the famous Blohm+Voss MEKO 200 series in a long line of general purpose frigates.
A fighting ship capable of full 4-dimensional warfare (AAW – Anti-Air Warfare, ASW – Anti-Submarine Warfare, ASuW – Anti-Surface Warfare, BCW – Biological and Chemical Warfare), the Blohm+Voss Class MEKO A-200 is also designed for sustained operations across the full spectrum of general missions and tasks: patrol and interdiction, support of special force operations, SAR (Search and Rescue) and humanitarian operations.
The Blohm+Voss MEKO A-200 is a perfect example of the innovative propulsion, stealth and survivability design, robust sea-keeping and all-weather boat and helicopter operability that characterises frigates from ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems. Fully proven with four units operational in the demanding Southern Ocean, further units are now being built for the Mediterranean, demonstrating the world-wide operating flexibility of these versatile ships.
The Blohm+Voss MEKO A-200 features the revolutionary CODAG-WARP (Water jet and Refined Propellers) propulsion system: two CPP (Controllable Pitch Propeller) propeller shafts driven by cross-connectable diesel engines plus a centre-line gas turbine-driven water jet, combining the power of each drive in the water without the need of a combining gearbox. This arrangement allows for extremely quiet acoustic signatures, a high degree of propulsion redundancy and damage survivability. The propulsion arrangement also provides, in the diesel only mode, an extremely economic solution, whereby a single engine can drive both shafts for a ship speed of 18 knots/20.7 mph/33.3 km/h, meaning that the ship will spend most of its life on a single engine.
The Blohm+Voss MEKO A-200 has greatly reduced radar, IR (Infrared), acoustic and magnetic signatures:
The X-Form shell design; extensive bulwark screening of exposed equipment; flush-closing shell doors and RCS-net screening of all shell openings, give the vessel very low radar cross section.
Without a funnel, and with all combustion engines exhaust horizontally on or below the waterline with active cooling, plus a shell cooling system, this ship has exceptionally low IR signatures.
The small, light propellers and the aft-sighting of propulsion machinery allowed by CODAG-WARP combined with a forefoot skeg make for exceptionally quiet signatures.
The Blohm+Voss MEKO A-200 has outstanding sea-keeping and tactical mobility. The fast mono-hull features a forefoot skeg for greatly reduced yawing and directional stability in a seaway. The >16 m/52.5 feet beam and active fin stabilisers provide platform stability such that helicopter and boat operations can be conducted in sea state 6. A covered fo’c’sle and high freeboard provide for additional buoyancy and reduced deck wettnesses and slamming, allowing high speed transit in heavy seas.
With a tactical diameter of less than four ship lengths and a stopping distance from full speed using the reversing water jet (crash-stop manoeuvre) of less than two ship lengths, the Blohm+Voss MEKO A-200 outperforms all frigates in the same tonnage class.
According to Alex Pape, IHS Jane’s Navy International correspondent, the German Navy’s first Type 125 frigate, the future FGS Baden-Württemberg, commenced builders’ sea trials on 6 April. The commencement of these trials represents a major milestone in the project.
The design and operational concepts for the ships mark a departure from preceding classes in the German Navy. In design terms, the ships feature a combined diesel-electric and gas turbine propulsion system (CODLAG). In operational terms, the ships are intended primarily to support stabilisation operations and to deploy at sea for up to two years at a time while using regular crew rotations.
The project, in its current form, got under way in 2004. A construction contract was awarded to a consortium – known as ARGE F125, and comprising ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems, Lürssen, and PeeneWerft (now part of Lürssen) – in June 2007. Ship deliveries originally were intended to take place between late 2014 and 2017. In the 2008 Bundeswehrplan, the overall level of investment in the programme was put at about €2.69 billion ($3.08 billion).
F222 Baden-Württemberg was christened in December 2013 and was floated for the first time in March 2014.
The builders’ sea trials will take place in the North and Baltic sea areas and will test the new propulsion and platform systems. Delivery is now expected is mid-2017.
Second ship F223 Nordrhein-Westfalen was launched in 2015, and is expected to be delivered in 2018. Delivery of ship three, F224 Sachsen-Anhalt, is scheduled for early 2019, with fourth-in-class F225 Rheinland-Pfalz following in early 2020.
The third of a total of four 125 class frigates for the German Navy was christened «Sachsen-Anhalt» on March 4 at the Hamburg site of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems. Following the christening of the first two frigates «Baden-Württemberg» in December 2013 and «Nordrhein-Westfalen» in April 2015 this is a further important milestone in the shipbuilding program for this frigate class. Dr. Gabriele Haseloff, wife of the premier of the state of Saxony-Anhalt after which the frigate has been named, performed the christening ceremony in the presence of high-level representatives from government, the German Navy and the companies involved.
The frigate «Sachsen-Anhalt» is scheduled to be handed over to the German defense procurement agency BAAINBw in early 2019. Commissioning and in-port trials of the first F125 frigate, the «Baden-Württemberg», have now advanced to the stage where sea trials can commence as planned in spring this year. Handover of the «Baden-Württemberg» to the BAAINBw is scheduled for mid-2017. The contract for the F125 program is worth around two billion euros in total.
Dr. Hans Christoph Atzpodien, member of the Management Board of ThyssenKrupp’s Industrial Solutions business area and chairman of the supervisory board of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems: «The F125 frigate class is a completely new type of ship. With numerous innovations and a multiple-crew strategy it is a further showcase for the leading engineering expertise of German naval shipbuilding».
The ARGE F125 consortium which was awarded the contract to build four F125 class ships for the German Navy in 2007 comprises ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems as the lead company and Fr. Lürssen Werft in Bremen. 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 125 class frigates will replace the German Navy’s eight (Bremen type) 122 class frigates. The ships were developed specially for current and future deployment scenarios for the German Navy. In addition to the traditional tasks of national and alliance defense, the 125 class frigates are designed for conflict prevention, crisis management and intervention/stabilization operations in the international arena. The ships are capable of remaining at sea for 24 months and thus represent the first realization of the intensive use concept, i.e. significantly increased availability in the deployment region. This capability is supported by a smaller crew and a multiple-crew strategy which permits a complete change of crew during deployment.
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.
149 m/489 feet
18.8 m/61.7 feet
5.0 m/16.4 feet
26 knots/30 mph/48 km/h
4,000 NM/4,603 miles/7,408 km at a speed of 18 knots/21 mph/33 km/h
According to Defense-aerospace.com, the first 209/1400 class submarine (Yard No. 447) for the Navy of the Arabic Republic of Egypt was named and launched at the shipyard of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems in Kiel on December 10, 2015.
This marks an important milestone in the ongoing submarine programme for the Egyptian Navy. «S41» is the first of four submarines. Production of the first submarine started in Kiel. Since then, the construction program has proceeded to schedule and achieved a first important milestone with today’s naming ceremony and launching.
The ceremony has been attended by Vice Admiral Rainer Brinkmann, Deputy Chief of Staff of the German navy, the Mayor of Kiel, top German officials, the Egyptian Ambassador in Berlin, the Egyptian Consul General in Hamburg, the Egyptian Defence Attaché and a delegation from the Egyptian navy.
HDW Class 209/1400mod
The HDW Class 209/1400mod submarine is the most recent version of the HDW Class 209 «family» in a line of 63 boats contracted with 14 customer navies.
Thanks to the large number of orders, every contract profited from the latest results of Research & Development. Improvements were tested during sea trials and then incorporated without delay into the next project.
Like all its predecessors, HDW Class 209/1400mod is a compact and reliable submarine featuring most recent technology, high combat strength, extraordinary battery payload and low signatures. Its comprehensive mission profiles include not only maritime defence and conflict prevention, but also surveillance and intelligence gathering tasks. It is also ideally suited for Special Forces operation missions.
In order to increase their indiscretion rate, HDW Class 209 boats may be equipped with a HDW fuel cell plug-in section for air-independent submarine propulsion. Such integration can be carried out during a regular midlife modernisation and leads to a considerable increase in submerged endurance.