German shipbuilders resolve corvette construction dispute

Illustration: German Navy photo of K130 corvette FGS Magdeburg

German shipbuilders have reportedly resolved an issue that blocked German defense minister Ursula von der Leyen’s plans for a quick and simple acquisition of additional five K130 corvettes for the navy.

The defense ministry had planned to award a construction contract to Thyssen Krupp Marine Systems (TKMS) and Lürssen, the corvette’s original builders, without a public tender.

This was disputed by German Naval Yards who argued that the move was illegal. The German cartel office, in a ruling announced on May 18, upheld the complaint arguing that an open tender had precedence over a quick procurement.

In response to the ruling, Lürssen and TKMS offered German Naval Yard to join the consortium with a 15 percent stake in the construction, according to German media reports.

If confirmed, the agreement could allow the defense ministry to order the corvettes before the German federal elections in fall this year.

The deal between German Naval Yards and the Lürssen-TKMS duo is yet to be officially confirmed and could possibly still be subject to an approval by the cartel office.

Braunschweig-class corvettes, as the vessels are also referred to, are being ordered because of the German 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.

Germany hopes to have the first two corvettes join the fleet by 2019 with the remaining ships joining by 2023.

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