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Hans Uwe Mergener

The Defence and Budget Committees of the German Bundestag has approved the procurement of four class 180 Multi-Purpose Combat Ships (MKS 180), a key requirement for all armament efforts with a financial volume above €25m. The order for the four MKS 180 ships was placed with Dutch company Damen Group in January 2020, offering a design based on their SIGMA class. This meant that the remaining German competitor in the international bidding process, German Naval Yards Kiel, which had subcontracted Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems, was left behind.

The procurement is included in the federal budget with a total of €5.722581bn. For FY 2020, appropriations of €396m are proposed, followed by a commitment appropriation of €5.308m for subsequent years, staggered in annual instalments from 2021 to 2032. An option for two additional MKS 180s, for which the Navy has formulated a requirement, has not yet been included in the budget.

Scope of Capabilities

MKS 180 will provide a surface combatant for high-intensity, multidimensional naval warfare and be suitable for operations in distant sea areas, meeting the demands of complex situations such as demanding environmental conditions. The ship should be capable of ASW, ASuW and the engagement of land targets. It will be equipped with onboard helicopters and can accommodate special forces in addition to extra personnel and material.

Parameters and Tasks

  • Length: approx. 155 metres (waterline)
  • Displacement: 9,000 tons max.
  • Complement: 110 regular crew, 70 persons embarkation contingent
  • Operating time: 24 months
  • Operating area: global
  • Ice class: 1C/E1 for sea areas with ice formation
  • Service life: 30 years

Armament:

  • medium and short-range air defence missiles
  • long-range anti-ship missiles
  • 127 millimetre main gun with extended range ammunition
  • Water cannons, heavy machine guns and light naval guns
  • Mission boats, reconnaissance drones, ASW helicopters

Mission Assignments:

  • Self-defence and combat operations
  • Generation of a maritime situation picture above and below the water
  • Sea space surveillance and embargo control, including boarding operations
  • Military evacuation in crisis situations
  • Escort for merchant ships
  • Command and control of operational units at sea

Separately, the budget to upgrade Germany’s Eurofighter TYPHOON fleet with AESA radars has also been approved, with the work to be carried out by Hensoldt.