Germany will buy six instead of four MKS Multi-role Combat Ships

Germany will buy six MKS 180 multi-role warships right away instead of initially starting off with four units, a spokesman of German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen said on Monday, according to Reuters.

The initial plan was to build four ships in the class and later decide whether to build another two units.

Back in October 2016, German defense ministry postponed awarding the contract with the aim of meeting high-quality standards, a report at the time said.

The October postponement meant the final agreement could be expected to be made by the end of 2017.

The Multi-role Combat Ship 180 (Mehrzweckkampfschiff MKS 180) – previously designated as ‘Korvette 131’ – is one of the biggest German defense projects. Three teams made up of two companies each are in the race for the contract.

German Naval Yards Kiel has teamed up with British BAE Systems in a bid to steal the contract from the ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems/Lürssen duo and the Dutch-German team made up of Damen and the Blohm+Voss shipyard.

The planned budget for the four ships was €3.9 billion (US$4.3 billion). The spokesman did not provide a new cost estimate for the acquisition of six ships, according to Reuters.