Senior political, defence, and industry representatives marked the start of production for the first 125 Class Frigate (F125) for the German Navy at a ceremony at Blohm + Voss in Hamburg on May 9th. They attended as guests of ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems AG and Friedrich Lürssen Werft, the members of the F125 Consortium (ARGE F125) building four ships of this new type.

At the touch of a button, Reinhard Schütte, vice-president of the Federal Office of Defence Technology and Procurement, started the ultra-modern laser welding and cutting plant in shipbuilding hall 3. This machine will cut the individual plates for the ultra modern frigates. This punctual start of production marks the first milestone following the signing of the contract in June 2007. Keel-laying will take place as early as November 2011 and delivery of the first vessel is planned for 2016 and of the last vessel for 2018.

The F125 is the world’s most modern and versatile frigate and has been carefully configured to meet the demands of the post Cold War world: national defence, crisis response, conflict prevention, stabilisation, and combating international terrorism. The F125 frigates provide the versatility, time on station, and ability to support land missions required of the next major surface combatant generation.

As well as this unique mission versatility, the F125 is the first vessel in the history of the German Navy to introduce the two-complement concept, permitting intensive use in the form of a maximum mission duration of up to 24 months. In this way, the F125 is capable of participating in active crisis prevention as a fully capable participant in long-term stabilisation missions.

The F125’s ability to deploy for such lengthy periods is made possible by the use of specially selected equipment and uniquely designed integrated logistic support processes which will have undergone exhaustive live proving prior to the first ship’s deployment. Interchangeable crews, a key to lengthy deployments, are made possible through a land-based training concept using extremely accurate simulators able to ensure that crews are at all times completely familiar and up to date with the entire ship and all of its systems.

F125 class frigates are based on the comprehensive requirement profile of the German Navy and have been developed jointly by industry, the Navy and the Federal Office of Defence Technology and Procurement (BWB) as the next major surface combatant generation.

The German Navy’s frigate program highlights the international significance of the German naval shipbuilding sector and its supplier industries. The sector provides and secures core expertise in naval shipbuilding nationally and internationally, while safeguarding jobs throughout Germany.

F125 main characteristics:

  • Length: 149m
  • Breadth: 18m
  • Max. speed: >26kn
  • Displacement: 7000t
  • Complement: max. 190 (regular crew 120)