Shipbuilders German Naval Yards Kiel (GNYK) and Damen have been invited to submit their final bids for the German Navy’s MKS 180 multi-purpose warship project.
According to GNYK, the invitation was issued by the German defense ministry on April 12.
The shipyard will now have three months to prepare the final bid together with thyssenkrupp Marine Systems and the German supply industry.
The company did not say when a decision on the preferred bidder could be made. However, a German minister expressed concern in March this year about the decision potentially being dragged out to early 2020.
The competition for the warship project started in 2015 and initially included three teams. Germany’s ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) and Lürssen were pitched against German Naval Yards Kiel and the Blohm+Voss shipyard, which brought in Dutch shipbuilder Damen. When Lürssen was removed from the competition, ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems joined GNYK to stay in the competition.
Damen has earlier said that the ships would be constructed at the Blohm+Voss shipyard in Germany, underscoring the importance of securing German shipbuilding know-how.
MKS 180 is envisioned as a modular ship, meaning that it will be capable of assuming anti-submarine, anti-air and surface warfare missions. Worth noting is that the navy wants the ship to have all potential mission modules onboard and to be capable of exchanging them on a “Flexdeck” without having to go into port. Another desired module would contain a diving chamber and mine warfare equipment.
The requirements bring the ships’ displacement to around 9,000 tons and their length to 155 meters, according to latest navy estimates.
The core crew of the ships would be a complement of 110 while an additional 70 crew would be in charge of the mission modules.
Just like the new F 125 frigates, the first of which is set to re-delivered this year, the MKS 180 will be expected to be capable of operating away from their homeport for up to two years.