Germany starting construction of first new K130 corvette next month

Illustration: German Navy photo of a K130 corvette

A consortium of three German shipbuilders is scheduled to officially begin works on the first of five new K130 corvettes in February this year, the German Navy chief has announced.

Speaking in Dobbin-Linstow on January 10, Vice Admiral Andreas Krause said the steel-cutting ceremony for the future FGS Köln would be held on February 7.

Köln is the first of a second batch of corvettes which is also referred to as Braunschweig-class, after the lead ship from the first batch. The first five ships entered service between 2008 and 2013.

Corvette Köln will be followed by Emden, Karlsruhe, Augsburg, and Lübeck. The keel for the final vessel is expected to be laid in December 2020.

All five ships, built under a €2.4bln contract from September 2017, are scheduled to be delivered to the navy by the ARGE K130 consortium by 2025. The shipbuilding consortium is composed of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems, German Naval Yards Kiel and Lürssen Werft as prime contractor.

Another consortium, named FüWES K130 will deliver improved combat systems, and set up and deliver a test and training center in Wilhelmshaven.

Braunschweig-class corvettes were 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.

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 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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