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Germany orders two more F126 frigates from Damen.

| Naval News Navy 2024

According to information published by Bloomberg on April 8, 2024, Germany is to order two additional F126 frigates from the Dutch company Damen.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Artist rendering of the F126 frigate. (Picture source: Damen)

The F126 frigate, also known as the Saarland-class frigate, represents the next generation of surface warships for the German Navy, aiming to replace the F123 Brandenburg-class frigates.

The project, which began with studies in 2009, sought to develop a versatile, modular vessel that could meet the Navy's growing need for ships capable of long overseas deployments with flexible mission capabilities.

The F126 project is distinguished by its emphasis on modularity and flexibility, allowing for rapid reconfiguration based on operational needs. This approach was influenced by the Navy's experiences and evolving requirements in the post-Cold War era, where a broader range of missions beyond traditional combat roles became increasingly important.

The tender for the F126 project attracted significant interest from several European naval shipbuilders. After a competitive evaluation and design selection process, the Dutch Damen Group won the contract in January 2020, marking a significant milestone in the project's progression.

The contract includes the design and construction of four frigates, with an option for two additional ships, totaling a contract value of 5.48 billion Euros. Damen's design for the F126 emphasizes advanced technologies in redundancy, survivability, and detectability, featuring a comprehensive array of Anti-Air Warfare (AAW), Above Water Warfare System (AWWS), and Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) systems.

Construction of the F126 frigates commenced in December 2023 with the first steel cutting ceremony at the Peene shipyard in Wolgast, Germany. This marked the official start of the construction phase, with the first ship scheduled for delivery in 2028.

The frigates are to be built entirely in Germany, showcasing a commitment to bolstering national and European defense industrial capabilities. With a length of 166 meters and a displacement of up to 10,000 tonnes, the F126 frigates will be among the largest in the German naval fleet, designed to operate globally across all conditions, from tropical to polar regions. The project's emphasis on automation and low maintenance will enable continuous operation with a core crew of 114.

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