On 22 February, the ‘Sachsen-Anhalt’, which is the third 125-class frigate, took to the sea for the first time.

The ship left the shipyard in Hamburg for scheduled in-port trials. The ship’s technical systems and equipment, including its propulsion system, manoeuvring behaviour, and technical operations, will be tested over a period of around two weeks.

The trials will take the ship from Hamburg via the river Elbe to the North Sea before returning to Hamburg after completing the test programme. In addition to technical specialists from the German defence procurement agency BAAINBw, the testing team from the ARGE F125 consortium and employees of other companies involved, members of the future naval crew are also on-board. Following the “Baden-Württemberg” and the “Nordrhein-Westfalen”, the “Sachsen-Anhalt” is now the third of the F125 class frigates to take to the open seas.

The completely redesigned F125 class ships have an extremely high degree of automation with approximately 28,000 electric devices, permitting a significantly smaller crew size compared with previous frigate classes.

At the same time, they are capable of remaining in their area of operation for up to two years. The newly developed ships are thus the first to implement the so-called intensive-use principle. In addition to the high level of automation, this is also made possible by a multiple-crew strategy that enables the entire crew to be swapped out during deployment. With sanitary facilities (including a shower) in each cabin, a small gym and even internet connections, the ships meet the demands of modern crew members.

The ARGE F125 consortium comprises thyssenkrupp Marine Systems as the lead company and Fr Lürssen Werft in Bremen. The pre-fitted bow sections were manufactured at the Fr Lürssen Werft shipyards in Bremen and Wolgast.

Construction of the stern sections, the joining of the two sections and further fitting out is being carried out at Blohm+Voss Shipyards in Hamburg under the direction of thyssenkrupp Marine Systems.

Key data for the F125:

Length: 149m

Width: 18m

Maximum speed: >26 knots

Displacement: approx. 7,000t

Crew: max 190 of which up to 120 regular crew members