New K130 corvettes too expensive for German defense ministry

German Braunschweig-class corvette deploys to UNIFIL mission, LebanonLead ship of K130 corvettes FGS Braunschweig, Photo: PIZ Marine

Germany’s accelerated acquisition of five additional K130 corvettes could get stalled following a report that shipbuilders Lürssen and Thyssen-Krupp Marine Systems set the price too high.

The shipbuilding duo is asking €2.9 billion for the five corvettes and two training facilities for corvette-operation, according to Handelsblatt Global.

The almost €3 billion price tag is in stark contrast to the €1.5 billion the ministry of defense expected to spend on the corvettes when the acquisition was announced in October 2016.

The ministry reasoned that the corvettes could be cheaper because they are an existing design and wouldn’t have to be designed from scratch.

Braunschweig-class corvettes, as the vessels are also referred to, are being ordered because of the navy’s increased scope and tempo of operations. Another reason is the fact that the MKS180 Multi-role Combat Ship order was delayed and the corvette announcement was interpreted as an offset to the delays.

Prior to the reported price issues Germany hoped to have the first two corvettes join the fleet by 2019 with the remaining ships joining by 2023.

According to Handelsblatt, Lürssen and Thyssen-Krupp Marine Systems are asking €2.9 billion because the ministry’s order included extensive upgrades to the ships and the establishment of two new training facilities for the operation of corvettes.

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