The German Navy has launched the process of acquiring a fleet of new minehunters for its Kiel-based 3rd Minesweeping Squadron.
A total of eleven vessels are to be acquired, according to Kieler Nachrichten who first reported the news.
The project is still in the early phase, according to the German Navy, and no decision on specific design or capability requirements has been made.
Frigate Captain Martin Schwarz, the 3rd Minesweeping Squadron commander, confirmed to Kieler Nachrichten that the project received green light from Inspector General of the Bundeswehr adding that first units could be ordered from 2022 and delivered from 2027.
The German Navy confirmed that an important requirement would be for the shock-hardened vessels to be capable of operating in mine endangered areas and performing standoff mine countermeasures with unmanned, remotely controlled vehicles.
The new minehunters will bolster the 12 MCM vessels currently based in Kiel. The 3rd Minesweeping Squadron is composed of ten Frankenthal-class minehunters and two Ensdorf-class minesweepers.