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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Germany Aims to Order Two More Frigates

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

June 3, 2024

© Bundeswehr/Hofmann

© Bundeswehr/Hofmann

The German government wants to buy two further frigates provided parliament approves the deal, Defence Minister Boris Pistorius said on Monday, as part of a policy shift to bolster its defences after Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Speaking in the Baltic port of Wolgast at a keel-laying ceremony for the first of four F126 frigates already ordered, he said he had reached a deal with the finance ministry to present parliament with a draft budget for two additional ships.

The F126 frigates comprise a core element of Germany's so-called "Zeitenwende" (sea change) in defence policy initiated by Chancellor Olaf Scholz, and Germany needs six, not just four of them, Pistorius said.

"It (the frigate) was developed to play its part in our collective defence, it is crucial for a credible deterrence, in particular for the protection of our northern flank," Pistorious told reporters at the ceremony.

The first frigate of the new type is expected to be delivered to the German navy in 2028. It will be capable of striking targets above and under water.

The first four ships will cost some 6.2 billion euros ($6.72 billion) and be built in the ports of Wolgast, Kiel and Hamburg with Dutch shipbuilder Damen as a general contractor.

The contract includes an option for two further ships.

At a length of 166 metres (548 feet), the 10,000-ton F126 will be the biggest combat ship in the German navy.

($1 = 0.9220 euros)

(Reuters - Reporting by Sabine Siebold; editing by Andrey Sychev and Mark Heinrich)