ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) handed over the F125 frigate Rheinland-Pfalz to the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology, and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) in Hamburg.
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 a low profile due to the pandemic.
On behalf of TKMS, Programme Manager Patrick Buggenthin signed the handover papers. Representing ARGE, Chief Executive Officer 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’.“
With this last delivery, all four ships of the Type F125 or Baden-Württemberg-class, which TKMS built together with the NVL Group in the ARGE F125 consortium, have been successfully delivered. The third ship Sachsen-Anhalt (F224) entered service last May.
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, according to the company.
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, TKMS stated.
Moreover, the ships can remain in their theatre of operations for up to two years. Besides the traditional tasks of national and alliance defense, 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 defense 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, TKMS concluded.
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