Germany awards €2.4bln contract for five new K130 corvettes

German Navy photo of a K130 corvette

The German defense procurement agency BAAINBw has authorized a €2.4 billion contract for the construction of five new Braunschweig-class (K130) corvettes.

The ARGE K130 consortium, composed of Lürssen Werft, ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems and the recently incorporated German Naval Yards Kiel, will be delivering the ships.

Led by Lürssen Werft as prime contractor, the shipbuilding team is to deliver the ships by 2025.

The German Navy already operates five K130 ships which means the corvettes will be based on an existing design incorporating updated technologies.

Initial announcements made by the German defense ministry indicated the ships could be acquired at a price of €1.5 billion but reports emerged that the shipbuilders were asking €2.9 billion for five corvettes and two training facilities for corvette-operation.

The value of the contract, announced by BAAINBw on September 12, is €900 million more than what the ministry initially expected to pay.

In addition to price issues, K130 corvette construction was stalled by shipbuilder German Naval Yards who protested the defense ministry’s decision to award the construction contract without a public tender in order to speed up the whole process.

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. The newly-formed consortium was approved by the cartel office.

Braunschweig-class corvettes were 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.

The 90-meter ships are designed for operation in coastal waters, augmenting the capabilities of fast attack boats and frigates. They are equipped with two 27 mm Mauser MLG27 remote-controlled, fully-automatic cannons, and one OTO Melara 76 mm gun.

The corvettes are also feature a helicopter landing deck and use the Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) – guided naval missile for close-in defense against anti-ship missiles, aircraft, helicopters and surface threats.

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