Germany has commissioned Baden-Württemberg, the first of a new F125-class of German Navy frigate ships, during a ceremony on 17 June.

Baden-Württemberg was built in Germany by ARGE F125, a consortium comprising thyssenkrupp Marine Systems as the lead company and Lürssen Werft.

The F125-class ships will replace the Navy’s F122 Bremen-class frigates, which entered service between 1982 and 1990.

German Federal Minister of Defence Ursula von der Leyen said in her speech at Naval Base Wilhelmshaven: “It was a long way to this day. But most importantly, we’re finally here. And we did that together, Bundeswehr and industry, by finding good solutions.

“This F125 has certainly given you some gray hair, but now we’re ready to put it into service. And gray hair can also be dyed.”

The ships in this class feature complex systems, around 28,000 sensors and are capable of remaining in their operational area for a continuous period of up to two years.

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Besides, the frigates have a degree of automation that allows for reduced crew size.

The German Navy can use the F125-class ships for defence duties, conflict prevention, crisis management and intervention and stabilisation operations in the international arena.

“The German Navy can use the F125-class ships for defence duties, conflict prevention, crisis management and intervention and stabilisation operations in the international arena.”

The German Navy frigate ships are designed to fight offshore and onshore targets. They also have aircraft systems and helicopters to perform submarine hunting missions.

Germany awarded the construction contract for the four frigates in June 2007.

Construction on ARGE F125 began in May 2011 following the concept, design and a detailed design phase.

In a statement, thyssenkrupp Marine Systems said: “Around 90% of the highly complex systems on board the F125 were specially developed for this new class of ships.

“Due to this high complexity and the related, different challenges as well as the further modular development of the ship during the project, ‘Baden-Württemberg’ was delivered about three years after the contractually agreed date.”

The company noted that Nordrhein-Westfalen, the second ship in the F125-class, will be delivered to the Navy later this year.

The remaining two German Navy frigate ships will be handed over within the next two years.

Lürssen Group is building the pre-fitted bow sections of the frigates at its shipyards in Bremen and Wolgast.

The frigates will be armed with the Raytheon RIM-116 rolling airframe missile and Harpoon anti-ship missile.