German cartel office halts quick purchase of corvettes

The German defense ministry’s plan for a quick acquisition of additional five K130 corvettes has been brought to a halt following a ruling by the German cartel office on May 18.

The defense ministry wanted to avoid an open procedure by buying the five corvettes from the Lürssen- Thyssen Krupp Marine Systems (TKMS) consortium which built the first five ships.

However, the cartel office upheld a complaint made by shipbuilding competitor German Naval Yards, arguing that an open tender had precedence over a quick procurement.

The cartel office ruling is not the first snag in the acquisition process. According to several reports from April 2017, the price for the new corvettes set by builders Lürssen and TKMS far exceeded the one the ministry of defense expected to get.

Announcing the decision to buy the five ships in October 2016, defense minister Ursula von der Leyen said the ships would cost the taxpayers some €1.5 billion. According to several reports, the shipbuilding duo is asking €2.9 billion for the five corvettes and two training facilities.