The German Navy’s fourth and final 125-class frigate (F125) has been christened at ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems’ (TKMS) Hamburg facility, marking a major milestone towards completion of the €2bn F125 shipbuilding programme.
The 149m-long F125 German Navy vessel has been named Rheinland-Pfalz and is currently being constructed by the ARGE F125 consortium, with delivery scheduled to German defence procurement agency BAAINBw in spring 2020.
A contract was originally awarded in 2007 to the TKMS-led consortium involving Fr. Lürssen Werft in Bremen, Germany, for the constructuction of four F125-class vessels for the German Navy.
The German Navy’s new 125-class fleet will begin the replacement of its eight (Bremen type) 122-class frigates.
F125-class vessels are specially designed to perform traditional national and alliance defence activities, as well as conflict prevention, crisis management and intervention / stabilisation operations in the international domain.
The frigates are supported both by a smaller crew and a multiple-crew strategy, which helps to facilitate a complete rotation of personnel during deployment.
TKMS CEO Dr Rolf Wirtz said: “With state-of-the-art technology and a multiple crew strategy, the F125 sets new standards in naval shipbuilding.
“It is designed to meet the requirements of our navy in current and future missions, such as fighting piracy or monitoring movements of refugees in the Mediterranean.
"Following today’s christening ceremony, the 125-class frigate family is now complete.”
Each F125-class frigate has a width of 18m and a displacement capability of approximately 7,000t, with the capacity to accommodate a crew of 190 members.
The first three frigates that have already been christened are Baden-Württemberg, Nordrhein-Westfalen and Sachsen-Anhalt.
The German Navy’s third F125 frigate Sachsen-Anhalt was christened at the Hamburg site in March last year, while the first two vessels were christened in December 2013 and April 2015 respectively.