German Navy’s second F125 frigate completes first set of builder’s sea trials

FGS Nordrhein-Westfalen at sea. Photo: ARGE F125

FGS Nordrhein-Westfalen, the second ship in the class of German Navy’s four new F125 frigates, has successfully completed the first set of her builder’s sea trials, German defence procurement office announced on February 21.

The frigate spent nine days at sea, from January 27 to February 4, conducting maneuverability tests and checking installed marine systems.

Nordrhein-Westfalen was launched on April 16, 2015 in Hamburg where she was constructed by the ARGE F125 consortium made up from ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems and Friedrich Lürssen.

Marc Steffens, head of the F125 project at BAAINBw, said the tests went well and the results were “exceptionally good”.

In the coming weeks, the frigate will spend a lot of time in the Baltic and North Sea where she will be thoroughly tested until she is delivered to BAAINBw.

Nordrhein-Westfalen’s predecessor and the lead ship in the class, FGS Baden-Württemberg is already conducting trials with the German Navy and is expected to be commissioned into the Navy by mid-2017.

F 125 frigates are a new class of ships set to replace the eight Bremen-Class frigates currently in service with the German Navy.

The four frigates are comparable to destroyers in size and are, with a length of 149 meters and a displacement of 7000 tonnes, the biggest operational ships in the German Navy.

According to the German Navy, the new frigates require only half the crew necessary to operate the Bremen-Class frigates. They will be able to stay at sea for up to 24 months and thereby reduce the transit times for the crews. The crews will swap in regular intervals directly in the areas of operations which means that the ships will have to make fewer port visits.

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