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Jack Richardson

The German Navy commissioned the frigate NORDRHEIN-WESTFALEN earlier today, the second of four ships in the BADEN-WURTTEMBERG class, though the ceremony was low key due to the COVID-19 crisis. With their highly complex systems and around 28,000 systems, these ships feature a very high degree of automation, making it possible to halve the crew size compared to previous frigate classes and allow the ships to remain in their operational area for up to two years, considerably reducing very long transit journeys.

In addition to the traditional tasks of national and alliance defence, the ships are designed for conflict prevention and crisis management in addition to intervention and stabilisation operations on an international scale. Alongside their capability to engage land and maritime targets, they have air defence systems and carry helicopters to hunt submarines.

Programme history

The contract for the construction of the four frigates entered into force in June 2007 which was followed by the concept, design and detailed construction phase. Around 90 per cent of the highly complex systems on board the F125 were newly developed for this type of ship. The first vessel, named BADEN-WURTTEMBERG, entered service in June 2019 and the NORDRHEIN-WESTFALEN will be followed by the SACHSEN-ANHALT and the RHEINLAND PFALZ by 2021 under current plans. Construction is divided between Lürssen and Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems.