First German Navy F 125 frigate begins sea trials

FGS Baden-Württemberg, the lead ship of the F 125 class of frigates, has started builder’s sea trials.

Over 60 soldiers from the future Crew Alpha, lead by their future Captain, have joined the frigate on her first sail from Hamburg to Cuxhaven, Germany.

Over the next couple of weeks, the ship will be testing navigational systems, machinery and weapons. Among other, deployment of speedboats and helicopter coordination were on the testing schedule for April 6.

Though classified as frigates, the four ships of the class are comparable to destroyers in size. They are being built by the ARGE F125 consortium which was awarded the contract to build a total of four F125 class ships for the German Navy in 2007.

The consortium is made up from ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems and the Friedrich Lürssen shipyard in Bremen, which is building the ships in cooperation with TKMS’ Blohm+Voss Shipyards in Hamburg.

The four F 125 class frigates will replace the eight frigates of the F122-class, which will be gradually decommissioned.

These ships are the first ones to run the so-called CODLAG propulsion system. The system essentially consists of electric motors which draw power from diesel generators. The new ships will carry four deployable boats and have two container spots on the middle deck.

Weaponry will consist of HARPOON and RAM missiles, one 127 mm machine gun, two 27 mm and five 12.7 mm guns. The 150-meter ship will have a complement capacity of 190 persons and be capable of achieving a maximum speed of 26 knots.

By the end of the decade, the four ships will be operated by a total of eight crews with a total of 120 personnel each. The Navy refers to this as the multiple-crew model where the eight crews will be operating as a closed team on a rotation principle.

With a length of 149 meters and a displacement of 7000 tonnes, the new frigates will be the biggest operational ships in the German Navy.