On May 26th, ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems handed over a frigate to the Navy of the Arab Republic of Egypt. It is the second in a series of four MEKO A-200 EN frigates. The ceremony in Bremerhaven, which was attended by high-ranking Egyptian and German Navy officials, also included the naming of the vessel. The Commander in Chief of the Egyptian Navy, Vice Admiral Ashraf Ibrahim Atwa, named the ship «AL-QAHHAR», meaning «The Irresistible Subduer».
«This project is considered a role model for many countries in the field of joint military industrialization», stated Vice Admiral Atwa. «Today, with the delivery of the ‘AL-QAHHAR’ frigate, our project has reached its midway».
«With today’s handover ceremony, we add a further highlight to the excellent relationship between the Egyptian Navy and ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems», said Paul Glaser, CFO of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems. «The ongoing cooperation on naval surface vessels and submarines is one of the cornerstones of the long-term partnership between our two countries. The first-of-class ship ‘AL-AZIZ’ is already in service and has since proven its technical capabilities and reliability, and its sister ship ‘AL-QAHHAR’ will be just as successful».
In its class, the MEKO A-200 EN is one of the most powerful warships in service today. The next-generation vessels are more than 121 metres/397 feet long, 16 metres/52.5 feet wide and have a maximum speed of more than 29 knots/33 mph/54 kph. Featuring a stealthy design, the frigates are dedicated to taking on the role of the new central combat platform of the Egyptian Navy. Each ship will possess an extensive range of both defensive and offensive capabilities.
In total, the Arab Republic of Egypt ordered four structurally identical vessels, with the first three units being produced in Germany and the fourth vessel being built by Alexandria Shipyard in Egypt. The building contract was signed in September 2018. Construction work on «AL-QAHHAR» started in December 2019, with keel laying in March 2020 and launching in August 2021. She will start the journey to her homeport in Alexandria in a few days. The next milestone in this project will be the handover of the third vessel of the series, «AL-QADEER», later this year.
On May 10th, Israel Aerospace Industries and ATLAS ELEKTRONIK, a company of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems, officially launched their latest joint development for advanced Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) missions at the Undersea Defence Technology (UDT) Conference and Exhibition in Rostock, Germany. In a festive ceremony at ELTA’s exhibition booth, Eyal Shapira, Vice President and General Manager of ELTA’s division for Air Defense and Naval Systems, and Michael Ozegowski, Chief Executive Officer of ATLAS ELEKTRONIK, unveiled the joint development, demonstrating an important milestone in the long-standing partnership between ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems and the Israeli industry.
Based on ELTA’s sophisticated BlueWhale autonomous underwater multi-mission platform, a large uncrewed underwater vehicle with a wide range of advanced sensor systems, the system incorporates ATLAS ELEKTRONIK’s unique, towed passive sonar triplet array. In contrast to existing towed sonars, the combined system is designed to function at depths traditionally exploited by submarines to avoid detection. A transmitter developed by ATLAS ELEKTRONIK, deployed from an autonomous or crewed surface vessel, enables the bistatic location and tracking of submarine targets by BlueWhale ASW.
IAI is a pioneer in the field of uncrewed systems in the air, land, space and sea domains. The world’s first Uncrewed Aerial Vehicle (UAV) was developed by IAI for the Israel Defense Forces. During recent decades, IAI became a leader for robotic ground systems, uncrewed vessels, loitering munitions and more. The BlueWhale ASW platform has been successfully tested for thousands of diving hours, performing a wide range of missions, including Intelligence, Surveillance & Reconnaissance (ISR), Electronic Warfare Support Measures (EW/ESM) and Mine CounterMeasures (MCM).
During the presentation of BlueWhale ASW at UDT, Michael Ozegowski, Chief Executive Officer of ATLAS ELEKTRONIK, highlighted the excellent partnership between the two companies spanning decades: «The joint development of BlueWhale ASW demonstrates once again the long-standing and trusting cooperation between German and Israeli naval industry partners. In close collaboration with ELTA, we developed a state-of-the-art system solution enabling high-impact ASW operations with minimum infrastructure requirements. The ATLAS ELEKTRONIK towed passive sonar triplet array and advanced transmitter solution is optimized for long-endurance autonomous operations. A solution that meets operational needs and capabilities in an efficient and cost-effective way».
Eyal Shapira, Vice President and General Manager of ELTA’s division for Air Defense and Naval Systems, said: «This new joint development is a result of the close relationship between IAI ELTA and ATLAS ELEKTRONIK, and between Germany and Israel. BlueWhale ASW will rely on ELTA’s extensive experience in the realm of machine learning and AIdriven autonomous systems together with the company’s advanced payloads, including Active Electronically Scanned array (AESA) radars, Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) systems and secure, long-range communication systems. Highly developed, on-board processing ensures that the incoming intelligence data is exploited in a timely and efficient manner».
The ATLAS ELEKTRONIK towed sonar array incorporates the company’s legacy of more than 100 years in the design, development and production of naval systems. It is based on the company’s proven Active Towed Array Sonar (ACTAS) platform, a deep-water sonar system originally designed for surface vessel deployment. The system utilizes a low frequency sonar system that facilitates excellent area coverage while maintaining high sensitivity at depths previously beyond the reach of conventional sonar systems.
On March 24th, the Brazilian Navy and Águas Azuis, a Special Purpose Entity (SPE) formed by ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems, Embraer Defense & Security and Atech, celebrated another milestone in the construction of the Tamandaré frigate: the ship’s keel laying. The ceremony, which took place at ThyssenKrupp Estaleiro Brasil Sul in Itajaí, Santa Catarina, was attended by the Commander of the Navy Fleet Admiral Marcos Sampaio Olsen, and other civil and military authorities from the defense sector and the naval industry.
Traditionally celebrated in shipbuilding, the keel laying takes place when the keel, the «backbone» of the vessel, is completed, allowing the construction of the other parts. Nowadays, with the engineering evolution and the modern production processes adopted in the Tamandaré Class Frigates Program (PFCT), it is possible for the ships to be built in blocks. In the case of the Tamandaré frigate, the first of the four ships in the PFCT, the keel laying was characterized by the positioning at its building site of an important structural block, which corresponds to the forward engine room. In this metal structure, which weighs approximately 52 tons, two engines, a gearbox and several pumps and auxiliary equipment will be installed.
Fleet Admiral Arthur Fernando Bettega Corrêa, General Director of Navy Materiel, highlighted the importance of this ritual: «Today, we witnessed the meeting of tradition with compelling technological modernity, resulting in the optimization of production and increased security for both employees and information».
Oliver Burkhard, CEO of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems, added: «We will provide the Brazilian Navy with high-end frigates that combine the edge of naval technology, innovation and robust combat capabilities and that will contribute greatly to Brazil’s national security in protecting the Amazônia Azul and beyond».
The construction model, which provides for production in blocks to be joined later, offers several advantages over the old method. In this way, it is possible to install accessories and foundations in advance, in addition to facilitating the placement of equipment on board and enabling work to proceed in different stages in a segregated manner for each unit. The process also increases employee safety by keeping spaces open longer during construction.
The innovations involved in the PFCT extend throughout the entire production chain. Historically, projects of this size are developed from a large number of printed documents, such as drawings, procedures and manuals, which require many copies and recurring updates. In this sense, the shipyard has implemented a methodology for engineering projects called «Paperless», which consists of eliminating the use of paper drawings in the frigate’s production line, transforming them into digital files. This approach brings advantages for the information security of the documents, due to the confidentiality required in a military project, and also benefits the environment.
The state of PFCT construction is advancing within schedule, and currently represents 34% of its total evolution. For the next stages, it is planned to build the block that forms the aft engine room, with the positioning of the equipment and engines in place. Next, the built blocks will complete the central structures of the ship. It should be noted that, of the more than fifty structural units that make up the construction sequence of the first Tamandaré Class frigate, about a quarter are in the process of structural assembly at ThyssenKrupp Estaleiro Brasil Sul, and others are already cut and shaped, with panels and subassemblies completed.
As for the qualification of the personnel who will be responsible for maintaining the ship’s systems, around 50% of the activities regarding systems engineering and integrated logistic support have already been concluded. The launch of the Tamandaré frigate is estimated for mid-2024 and its delivery to the Brazilian Navy at the end of 2025. The cutting of the hull plate of the second Tamandaré Class frigate is expected to take place later this year.
Increase in the protection of Brazilian Jurisdictional Waters (BJW)
Conducted since 2017 by the Brazilian Navy, executed by Águas Azuis and managed by Empresa Gerencial de Projetos Navais (EMGEPRON), the Tamandaré Class Frigates Program is the most modern and innovative naval project developed in the country, comprising the building, within national territory, of four defense ships of high technological complexity. The vessels must reach operational capacity to respond and protect the «Blue Amazon», generating technology transfer and perpetual license, and promoting local industry and civil construction in the country. The Brazilian Navy predicts that the program, as a whole, could create around 2,000 direct jobs and 6,000 indirect jobs.
On June 21st, 2022, a prototype of the engine room compartment section was completed; this is used for the qualification of various processes related to the manufacture of the vessels. As a highlight of the stages already carried out, the hull plate of the first Tamandaré Class frigate was cut on September 5th, 2022, this being considered the main milestone for the beginning of the construction phase.
ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems on October 14, 2022 handed over the first-of-class MEKO A-200 EN to the Navy of the Arab Republic of Egypt. A total of four ships were ordered, with the first three units produced in Germany and the fourth vessel built by Alexandria Shipyard in Egypt. At today’s ceremony in Bremerhaven, the frigate «AL-AZIZ» was accepted by the Egyptian Navy after only 38 months of the contract becoming effective.
Besides the handover ceremony, the celebrations included the naming of a second MEKO A-200 EN frigate for the Egyptian Navy. The Chief of Staff of the Egyptian Navy, Vice Admiral Ashraf Ibrahim Atwa, named the warship «AL-QADEER».
Vice Admiral Ashraf Ibrahim Atwa: «I am grateful to the friendly Republic of Germany for the constructive relationship which sets the example to be followed by others. Germany always supports Egypt with the up-to-date technology needed to enhance our naval capabilities. We have a longstanding and successful history of cooperation, as reflected in the highly efficient 209 submarines. Our cooperation was not limited to only building new ships, but was also extended to cover advanced training for our crews to absorb the new advanced technology».
After short but intensive negotiations that started in May 2018, the contract for the four frigates was signed in September 2018, with the project work formally starting in August 2019. First steel cutting was already in September 2019 and the launching of the first-of-class took place in April 2021. In July 2021 «AL-AZIZ» was named, and then finally today she was handed over.
Oliver Burkhard, CEO of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems: «This record timeline was possible only because the Egyptian Navy and ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems have such a long and trustful partnership. The strategic programme is based on an open and collaborative dialogue with our customer and we are thankful for their tireless efforts in contributing to the success of this project».
In its class, the MEKO A-200 EN is one of the most powerful warships in service today. The four ships ordered by the Arab Republic of Egypt are identical in construction. «AL-AZIZ» will start her journey to her homeport in Alexandria in a few days.
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
149 m/489 feet
18 m/59 feet
> 26 knots/30 mph/48 km/h
approximately 7,200 t
maximum 190 persons (of which 126 are regular crew)
ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems has reached an agreement with the Israeli Ministry of Defence on the framework conditions for the purchase of three Dakar-class submarines. After extensive negotiations, all parties involved agreed to the technical content and contractual provisions on Thursday.
Doctor Rolf Wirtz, CEO ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems: «We, as ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems and Germans, are honoured and proud to continue the long cooperation – spanning decades – with the Israeli Ministry of Defence and the Israeli Navy. The new class of submarine will provide Israel with the most advanced capabilities, based on an innovative, cutting-edge technology. This agreement demonstrates the deep commitment of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems to guarantee Israel’s long-term security. It was signed after a thorough and extensive groundwork process, and I would like to thank our partners in the Ministry of Defence and the Israeli Navy for their commitment and professionalism».
The Dakar class will be of a completely new design, which is to be specifically engineered to fulfil the operational requirements of the Israeli Navy. The three submarines will replace the first batch of Dolphin-class submarines.
Doctor Rolf Wirtz: «In the last joint project with the Israeli Navy, the SA’AR-6 project, we delivered four corvettes on time and within budget. In this respect, we are very much looking forward to working with our longstanding partner again».
Before the contract comes into effect, ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems will have to hold intensive talks with its suppliers.
In preparation for the expected order, ThyssenKrupp had already agreed to investments of about 250 million euro for ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems in 2019. Kiel is thus securing its location as an international centre of competence for conventional submarine construction. Construction of a new shipbuilding hall and a fuel-cell production facility is already visible on the shipyard site.
Production activities for the first of 2 new-generation submarines, as part of the U212NFS (Near Future Submarine) acquisition program of the Italian Navy, started today at the Muggiano (La Spezia) shipyard.
The program, which also envisages relevant in-service support, an option for 2 additional units, as well as the creation of a Training Center, is led by OCCAR (Organisation Conjointe de Cooperation en matiere d’Armement, the international organization for joint armament cooperation), in line with the most innovative management procedures, through life management and risk management.
The project is an evolution of the U212A program carried out in cooperation with the German ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems, which resulted in the production of 4 submarines for Italy – Salvatore Todaro (S-526), Scirè (S-527), Pietro Venuti (S-528) and Romeo Romei (S-529), delivered by Fincantieri between 2006 and 2017 – and 6 for Germany. According to highly reliable analyses, the technological content of these air-independent propulsion submarines determined the shift in the balance between nuclear and conventional vessels in the postwar period.
The new submarines will be highly innovative, with significant design modifications which will all be developed independently by Fincantieri. The U212NFS program, which envisages the first two deliveries in 2027 and 2029, responds to the need to secure adequate underwater spatial surveillance and control capacity, considering the future complex scenarios of underwater operations and that the operational lifetime of the 4 Sauro class submarines, currently in service, is drawing near. It also aims at upholding and further developing Fincantieri’s acquired strategic and innovative industrial know-how, as well as consolidating the technological lead attained by the company and its supply chain, major industries, and small and medium-sized enterprises of the sector, enhancing the presence on board of technologically advanced component parts developed by Italian industries.
The submarines carry out many different tasks for the benefit of the community on a daily basis, preserving national interests and collective defense within the framework of the most important alliances in which the Italy participates, NATO and the EU. They range from purely military missions to operations pertaining to freedom of navigation, anti-piracy, keeping the energy supply routes safe (due to the presence of seabed resources or underwater infrastructure), observance of international law, fighting terrorism, defending external borders, and safeguarding maritime infrastructure, including essential off-shore and underwater infrastructure, not least preserving marine ecosystems.
ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems has handed over the two ships to the Israeli Navy on July 27, 2021. The SA`AR 6-class corvettes had been christened earlier. This means that all four ships ordered have now been delivered to the Israeli Navy. Due to the pandemic, today’s ceremony took place on a small scale. In his speech to the guests at the ceremony and to the crews of the new ships, Managing Director Dr Alexander Orellano emphasised the good professional and personal relationship with the Israel Navy.
Doctor Alexander Orellano: «In the six years from the signing of the contract until today, we have developed a superior ship together. We have discussed a lot with each other, sometimes even argued. In the end, we, client and contractor, together built a better ship than originally planned».
The SA’AR 6-class ships will form the backbone of the Israeli Navy for the next 30 years. ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems is building the ships in a joint venture with German Naval Yards Kiel. Vice Admiral Eliyahu Sharvit arrived from Israel for the naming and handover ceremony. The Israeli navy commander-in-chief is pleased with his new ships, as he expressed in his speech: «I thank you for your tremendous effort invested in this combined project to ensure its extraordinary success».
The contract for the delivery of four SA’AR 6 corvettes was signed in May 2015.
After the design phase, the construction phase began with the ship’s steel cutting ceremony in February 2018. Just 15 months after the first steel was cut, the ship undocked. In May 2019, the «INS Magen» as first of class received her name in Kiel and was handed over in November 2020. The second ship, «INS Oz» followed in May 2021. On July 27, 2021 with «INS Atzmaut» and «INS Nitzachon» the order was completed.
The ships will be equipped with radar and weapon systems by the Israeli Navy after their arrival in their homeport.
ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems has officially been commissioned to build six identical Type 212CD submarines. The procurement organizations of Norway and Germany signed the corresponding contracts on July 7, 2021. Due to the pandemic situation, the ceremony took place on a small scale and virtually; the customers were connected via video conference in Kiel. After the event, CEO Doctor Rolf Wirtz said: «The 212CD order is a major milestone. The Norwegian and German navies are getting the most modern submarines in the world, international and industrial teamwork will permanently shape cooperation in the maritime sector, and we have created capacity utilization for our company. Today is a good day for our employees and for ThyssenKrupp»!
Worth approx. 5,5 billion Euro/6.5 billion dollars, the order comprises the delivery of two submarines to the German Navy and four to the Norwegian Navy.
Only yesterday, on 7 July, ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems and its Norwegian industrial partner Kongsberg signed a cooperation agreement. Industrial cooperation between Germany and Norway is a cornerstone of the 212CD project – ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems relies on the Norwegian company Kongsberg for this project and for other projects on the world market. After signing the contract with Kongsberg on 7 July 2021, CFO Paul Glaser commented: «With Kongsberg, we have a strong partner with whom we will continue to realize many projects together in the future. The contract with Kongsberg is by far the largest part of the 212CD project – a sign of how close the connection between Norway and Germany really is».
Norway and Germany had already entered into a cooperation in 2017 that goes beyond the construction of six new HDW Type 212CD submarines, as a new generation of the Type 212A. The design of the Type 212A submarine, which has proven itself in service with the German and Italian navies, will be further developed with the integration of advanced technologies to expand the U212 family in Europe. This project is another important step towards deepening and expanding European cooperation in the field of defence.
Construction of the first boat will begin in 2023. Delivery of the first submarine for the Norwegian Navy is expected for 2029, while delivery of the two boats for the German Navy is scheduled for 2032 and 2034. In preparation for the order, ThyssenKrupp has already initiated investments of around €250 million in 2019. The aim is to further develop ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems at the Kiel location into an international centre of competence for the construction of conventional submarines. Construction of a new shipbuilding hall has already begun, and progress is clearly visible at the shipyard site. With the order now placed in the Norwegian-German strategic cooperation project U212CD, ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems will consolidate its partnership with Kongsberg Defence & Aerospace (KDA), which has already existed since 2017, and expand its value-adding industrial partnerships in Norway and Germany.
ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems on July 9, 2021 officially handed over the fourth 209/1400mod class submarine, named «S44», to the Navy of the Arab Republic of Egypt. Following the strict corona prevention measures at the shipyard, the handover took place in Kiel.
Doctor Rolf Wirtz, CEO of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems: «I would like to thank everyone involved for the open dialogue and the trusting cooperation. The success would not have been possible without the professionalism and competence of our employees, customers and suppliers. The handover of the fourth and last HDW Class 209/1400mod submarine in the project means, that our Egyptian colleagues will return home. We wish them all the best for the future and hope to welcome them back at our shipyard for further projects soon».
The contract for the delivery of the first two 209/1400 mod class submarines to the Arab Republic of Egypt was signed in 2011. In 2015, Egypt decided to take the option for two additional units. The first submarine was handed over in December 2016, the second in August 2017 and the third in April 2020. All four submarines will enhance Egypt’s defense capabilities and combat efficiency, achieve maritime security, and protect Egyptian coasts as well as the economic interests between the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.
About «S44»: In September 2020, the «S44» was named and launched at the shipyard of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems in Kiel. The submarine is extremely reliable, can stay submerged for a long time, is fast, and hard to locate thanks to their low signatures.