German air defense frigate FGS Sachsen deploys to operation Sophia

F124 air defense frigate FGS Sachsen will become the first German Navy vessel to deploy in 2018, getting underway from her homeport of naval base Wilhelmshaven on January 5.

The lead ship of the F124 frigates is joining the EU-led operation Sophia in the Mediterranean Sea.

The goal of the mission is to prevent human and arms smuggling through the monitoring of the Mediterranean Sea between the coasts of Italy and Libya.

FGS Sachsen is replacing F123 frigate FGS Mecklenburg-Vorpommern which deployed to the operation in August 2017. Sachsen and the crew will be led by Frigate Captain Mirko Wilcken who took over as FGS Sachsen commander five months ago.

FGS Sachsen is the first of three F124, Sachsen-class frigates. Germany planned to build four but eventually settled with three ships, with FGS Hamburg and FGS Hessen being the other two ships in the class.

Sachsen was laid down at the Blohm+Voss shipyard in February 1999 and delivered to the navy in November 2002. The 143-meter ship displaces 5.800 tonnes and is powered by one gas turbine and two diesel engines.