Damen Shipyards Group cut the first steel for the F126 frigates, ushering in a new era for the German Navy. 

The Peene shipyard in Wolgast witnesses a ceremony attended by over 200 guests, marking the commencement of the construction phase.

In an event at the Peene shipyard in Wolgast, Germany, Damen Shipyards Group, in collaboration with NVL Group, celebrated the official start of construction for the F126 frigates. The cutting of the first steel on December 5 adhered to the planned schedule and symbolised a leap forward in the F126 project, which is set to become the largest shipbuilding endeavour in the history of the German Navy.

This occasion, attended by key figures including Lürssen CEO Friedrich Lürssen and Minister-President of the German state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Manuela Schwesig, showcased the recognition of the F126 frigate construction as an exciting naval project.

Initiated in June 2020, the F126 project, awarded to Damen Naval by BAAINBw, is set to build four multi-purpose frigates with an option for two more. Over the past three and a half years, Damen Naval and its partners designed the vessels, culminating in the visible and symbolic act of cutting steel at the Peene shipyard.

The first ship will be delivered to the German Navy in 2027, according to GlobalData’s “Germany Defense Market 2023-2028” report.

Magiel Venema, director of Damen Naval Germany, highlighted that the steel cutting marks the first tangible milestone visible to the public, “The steel cutting is the first visible shipbuilding step of the project as well as the first tangible milestone taking place in Germany itself. The ships will now start taking shape, so everyone can see what is slowly being created.”

With a length of 166m and a displacement of up to 10,000 tonnes, the F126 frigates will stand as the largest in the German naval fleet. These multi-mission platforms, from tropical climates to polar regions, are designed to operate globally, making them an asset for the German Navy.

In collaboration with various partners, Damen Naval is progressing with the construction of the German Navy’s F126 frigates. 

Damen Shipyards has secured multiple contracts with various suppliers, Lockheed Martin for MK 41 Vertical Launching Systems, Hensoldt and Thales for TRS-4D naval radar, and Rheinmetall for MLG27-4.0 defence systems. The construction of the F126 frigates involved various technologies and collaborations, contributing to developing a naval fleet for the German Navy.

As Parliamentary State Secretary Siemtje Möller MdB emphasised, the F126 frigates represent a modern asset for the German Navy, “With the F126 frigates, the navy has a modern asset that, in future, can serve as an effective deterrent and defence for our alliances and for our own security in all maritime operations and operational areas around the world.”