A 4 billion euro (approx. $4.5B) contract for the construction of the German Navy’s new MKS 180 (Mehrzweckkampfschiff) ship has been delayed by six month, news agency Reuters has reported.
The German defense ministry is postponing the contract to ensure high-quality standards are met, the report said.
This means that the final agreement can be expected to be made by the end of 2017.
Acquisition of the Multi-role Combat Ship 180 (Mehrzweckkampfschiff MKS 180) – previously designated as ‘Korvette 131’ – is one of the biggest German defense projects. Three teams made up of two companies each are in the race for the contract.
German Naval Yards Kiel has teamed up with British BAE Systems in a bid to steal the contract from the ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems/Lürssen duo and the Dutch-German team made up of Damen and the Blohm+Voss shipyard.
Four ships are planned to be built with the first one entering service in 2023 under a planned budget of €3.9 billion (US$4.3 billion).
Operational requirements initially set the number of ships to be built at 6, but financial constraints forced Germany to cut the number to four. According to the German Navy, the decision whether to build boats five and six will be made at a later point in time.