Germany’s first F125 frigate misses commissioning date

FGS Baden-Württenberg entering its future homeport of Wilhelmshaven. Photo: Bundeswehr/Dennis Kramer

German Navy’s newest frigate and the lead ship in its class, the future FGS Baden-Württemberg, has missed its scheduled July 28 commissioning date as it is yet to be handed over by the shipbuilders.

According to German news site Wilhelmshavener Zeitung, FGS Baden-Württemberg is still undergoing adjustments and check ups.

One the issues the news site reported was the frigate’s operations room from where the highly-automated ship will be controlled. This is a complex system as the 7000-tonne frigate (close to the displacement range of a destroyer) will require only half the crew necessary to operate the predecessor Bremen-Class frigates.

According to the German Navy, the F125 will be deploying with little over 100 personnel.

Reporting on the sea trials of the second frigate in the class, the Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany’s Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) in March this year said the frigate successfully completed builder’s trials without mentioning the technical issues or the listing issues Naval Today earlier reported about.

BAAINBw is currently working out problems with the operations room on FGS Baden-Württemberg and the frigate is scheduled to start functional tests by the end of August 2017, the news site quoted a BAAINBw spokesperson as saying.

F125 frigates are a new class of ships set to replace the eight Bremen-Class frigates currently in service with the German Navy.

The navy has developed an alternative crewing model for the frigates with four ships operated by eight crews. The deployment duration for any of the crews should not exceed four months.

New sensor-weapon concepts are prepared for the enhanced flexibility and scalable control-options of the frigates. Almost all weapons on board will be remotely controlled. Passive protection will also be enhanced by automatized surveillance systems.

These ships will be the first ones to run the so-called CODLAG propulsion system. The system essentially consists of electric motors which will draw power from diesel generators. The new ships will carry four deployable boats and have two container spots on the middle deck.

Weaponry will consist of HARPOON and RAM missiles, one 127 mm machine gun, two 27 mm and five 12.7 mm guns. The 150-meter ship will have a complement capacity of 190 persons and a maximum speed of 26 knots.

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