Damen wants to build German MKS180 ships in Hamburg

The Netherlands-based shipbuilding group Damen Shipyards is ready to build Germany’s new MKS180 frigates at the Blohm+Voss shipyard in Hamburg, the company has told German parliament members.

This is according to a letter seen by German news agency Welt in which Damen, together with its bidding partner Blohm+Voss, underscores the importance of securing shipbuilding jobs in Germany.

The Welt report comes shortly after representatives from ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) and Lürssen, another shipbuilding duo which took part in the MKS180 tender, announced they were excluded from the tendering process. This was reported by Reuters early March.

With TKMS and Lürssen reportedly out of the way, the only competition for the Damen and Blohm+Voss team is a duo made up of German Naval Yards Kiel and Britain’s BAE Systems.

The Europe-wide tendering process for the six ships is expected to be concluded this year. In addition to being late, the ships are already €500 million over budget. Germany initially wanted to order four ships with options for two more but defense minister Ursula von der Leyen announced in February 2017 that the ministry would order all six ships right away.

The 5,000-ton ships are expected to be capable of tackling targets above and below water in addition to supporting land missions.

Armament should feature a 127 mm naval gun while naval surface to air missiles should be capable of hitting targets at a distance of 25 kilometers thereby enabling protection from air threats.

The ships will be equipped with towed sonars for anti-submarine warfare and include sick bays or detention rooms for counter-piracy missions. Additional flexibility would be provided by an embarked helicopter and RHIBs for rapid deployment of boarding parties.

While the planned complement is up to 180 personnel, it has been noted that the number has nothing to do with the designation number in MKS 180.