The first of five K130 Batch II corvettes built for the German Navy, Köln (F265), was christened on April 21, 2022 at the Blohm+Voss shipyard in Hamburg.
The ceremony hosted several Parliamentary representatives and high-level officials, as well as the mayor of Cologne, Henriette Reker, who was the godmother of the ship.
In addition to best wishes for the ship, Henriette Reker mentioned the significance of the ship to protect Germany’s interests and protecting territorial waters in her speech.
«The Corvette Köln (F265) will protect our lifestyle and our values, our country’s territory and our alliance», Said Henriette Reker, Mayor of Cologne.
German government placed an order for five corvettes in 2017 in order to enhance the German Navy’s capabilities and answer NATO requirements. The 2 billion Euro order covers corvette design and construction, as well as other services such as Instrument Landing System (ILS) and crew training. Köln’s keel-laying ceremony took held on April 25, 2019 at the Peene shipyard in Wolgast.
The second batch of corvettes will be named Köln, Emden, Karlsruhe, Augsburg, and Lübeck. Atlas Elektronik and Thales Deutschland have been contracted to deliver the combat system for the five new K130 corvettes. The keel-laying ceremony was conducted for the final corvette at PeeneWerft in Wolgast.
Since their commissioning in 2008-2013, the first five ships in the class have become proven workhorses of the German naval forces. On the one hand, one of the corvettes for the United Nations Interim Force In Lebanon (UNIFIL) stabilization mission in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Lebanon has been in use virtually since 2012. On the other hand, the small, maneuverable ships with a sea endurance of up to seven days are specialists for national and alliance defense missions in the Baltic Sea, where they regularly practice with NATO and EU partners.
The five new corvettes are being built by a joint venture of three shipbuilding companies: Lürssen Werft, ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems, and German Naval Yards. Lürssen built the foredeck of the Köln (F265) in its shipyard at Lemwerder near Bremen, while the aft part was built at the Wolgaster Peene shipyard. These two large sections were then assembled and equipped at the Thyssen shipyard Blohm & Voss in Hamburg. In Wolgast, the aft of the remaining four new corvettes are also being built.
Two of the five Batch 2 corvettes are being built at the Lürssen shipyard in Bremen, while the three others are being manufactured and pre-equipped at the German Naval Yards site in Kiel. The ships’ stern is manufactured at the Lürssen Peene shipyard. Lürssen subsidiary Blohm + Voss is in charge of connecting the ship’s fore and aft parts in Hamburg, a major step known as the «wedding thrust».
The roughly 89-meter-long/292-foot-long corvettes will also be fully equipped and put into operation in Hamburg. They also go through their functional tests and approvals from Hamburg – in coordination with the Bundeswehr and the German Navy.
The K130 Batch 2 are fitted with the latest variant of the 76-mm main gun by Leonardo (with a stealthy shield, while existing K130 main guns have a round cupola). Existing K130 Corvettes weapon systems include four Saab RBS-15 anti-ship missiles, two 21-cell Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) point defense missile systems and two 27-mm Rheinmetall MLG 27 guns. This seems to be unchanged for corvettes of the Batch II