The German Navy has taken ownership of F125 Baden-Württemberg, the most modern and powerful frigate ever built in the country.

The vessel was constructed by thyssenkrupp Marine Systems as the lead company, alongside ARGE F125. German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen was present for its commissioning ceremony last month.

The newly designed class F125 ships have highly complex systems, approximately 28,000 sensors and a high degree of automation. The crew size has been cut by around 50% compared to previous German frigate classes.

The vessels can remain in their operational area for up to two years, allowing for a reduction in the number of typically long-lasting transits. The F125 Baden-Württemberg is the first ship worldwide to implement the intensive use concept successfully.

As well as carrying out traditional defence tasks, the ships are designed for conflict prevention, crisis management and intervention and stabilisation of operations in the international arena. In addition to the ability to fight offshore and onshore targets, they also have anti-aircraft systems and helicopters that are specially equipped for submarine hunting.

The contract for the construction of the four warships became effective from June 2007. The concept, design and a detailed design phase followed. Approximately 90% of the highly complex systems on the F125 were developed especially for this new class of ships.

Due to the complexity of and the challenges created by the project, as well as the further modular development of the ship during its construction phase, Baden-Württemberg was delivered around three years after the contractually agreed date.

The second-class F125 ship Nordrhein-Westfalen will be ready for use by the German Navy later this year. The handing over of the third and fourth vessels is planned to take place within the next two years.

The ARGE F125 consortium comprises thyssenkrupp Marine Systems as the lead company along with Fr Lürssen Werft, headquartered in Bremen, Germany.

The pre-fitted bow sections are being manufactured at Lürssen Group’s German shipyards in Bremen and Wolgast.

Construction of the stern sections, the joining of the two sections and further fitting-out was being completed at Blohm+Voss Shipyards in Hamburg under thyssenkrupp Marine Systems’s leadership.

Key data for the F125:

  • 149m length
  • 18m width
  • >26 knots maximum speed
  • Approximate displacement of 7,000t
  • Maximum crew of 190
  • Up to 120 regular crew members