German Navy’s air-defense frigate FGS Sachsen will depart its homeport to become the new flagship of NATO’s Standing Maritime Group 2.
Sachsen will be taking the place of Dutch De Zeven Provincien-class frigate HNLMS De Ruyter which has been at the helm of SNMG2 since September this year.
The lead ship of the F124 class of frigates, Sachsen will sail out of Wilhelmshaven on December 12 and head for the Mediterranean where she will relieve the Dutch frigate.
The current mission of the SNMG2 is to monitor and patrol the Aegean Sea off the Turkish coast and to report all migrant boats leaving the Turkish coasts for Europe.
Another goal is an increase in the cooperation between the European border agency Frontex and the maritime authorities of Turkey and Greece. By doing so, NATO hopes to curb the migration flow and smuggling activities in the Aegean Sea.
Germany is currently leading the NATO mission with Rear Admiral Kay-Achim Schönbach as the fleet commander.
FGS Sachsen is the lead ship of three F124 class frigates. FGS Hamburg and FGS Hessen are the other two ships in the class.
Sachsen was laid down at the Blohm + Voss shipyard in February 1999 and delivered to the Navy in November 2002. The 143-meter ship displaces 5.800 tonnes and achieves a maximum speed of 29 knots