Germany’s new MKS 180 multi-purpose ships to cost €500M more
In addition to being delayed, German Navy’s new Multi-role Combat Ship 180 (Mehrzweckkampfschiff MKS 180) will come with an additional cost of over €500 million, according to media reports.
A letter sent by deputy defense minister Markus Gruebel to lawmakers on Tuesday said the extra €500 million are to be spent on improving the ships’ capabilities.
The cost increase is expected to occur despite €300 million in savings achieved by removing automatic de-icing equipment from the tab. The ship’s helicopter decks were originally expected to de-ice themselves automatically but the navy decided to save money by having the ship’s crew remove ice manually.
Germany initially planned to order four MKS 180 ships that would be capable of operating around the world including the poles. A spokesman of German defense minister Ursula von der Leyen announced in February this year that Germany would order six instead of four ships to match the navy’s increased international engagement.
A contract for the construction of the MKS 180 was delayed by six months in October last year and was expected to be finalized by 2017-end. It was not immediately clear whether the cost increase would have an impact on previously set time frames.
Acquisition of the 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.