Baden-Württemberg-class frigate

The F125 Baden-Württemberg-class frigates are a series of frigates of the German Navy, which were designed and constructed by ARGE F125, a joint-venture of Thyssen-Krupp and Lürssen. The Baden-Württemberg class have the highest displacement of any class of frigate worldwide. They are to replace the Bremen class.[2][3] They are primarily designed for low and medium intensity maritime stabilization operations, where they are supposed to provide sea-to-land tactical fire support, asymmetric threat control at sea and support of special forces.[4]

Nordrhein-Westfalen (F223) in Eckernförde Bay, 13 February 2018
Class overview
Builders: ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems/Lürssen
Operators:  German Navy
Preceded by: Sachsen-class frigate
Cost: ca. 775 million per ship
Built: 2011–present
In commission: 2019–present
Planned: 4
Building: 3
Completed: 1
General characteristics (Note that the final design may differ)
Type: Frigate
Displacement: 7,200 tonnes
Length: 149.52 m (490 ft 7 in)
Beam: 18.80 m (61 ft 8 in)
Draft: 5 m (16 ft 5 in)
Speed: 20 knots (37 km/h) on diesel only, 26 kn (48 km/h) max.
Range: 4,000 nautical miles (7,400 km)
Boats & landing
craft carried:
  • Submarine ROVs
  • 4 × 11 m (36 ft 1 in) RHIB, capable of more than 40 kn (74 km/h)
Capacity: Space for two 6.1 m (20 ft 0 in) containers
Complement: 190 (standard crew: 110)
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • 1 × Cassidian TRS-4D AESA radar
  • 2(?) × navigation radars
  • IFF
  • diver and swimmer detection sonar (no anti-submarine sonar)
  • Laser warning
  • KORA-18 Combined RADAR and COMMS ESM from GEDIS
  • Link 11, Link 16, Link 22 communications systems
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
Aircraft carried: 2 × NH-90 helicopters



In contrast to the Bremen class, which were built with Cold War-era scenarios in mind, the Baden-Württemberg-class frigates will have much enhanced land-attack capabilities. This will better suit the frigates in possible future peacekeeping and peacemaking missions. For such reasons, the frigates will also mount non-lethal weapons.

General characteristics

Major design goals are reduced radar, infrared and acoustic signatures (stealth technology), something that was introduced to the German Navy with the Brandenburg-class frigate and was further developed with the Sachsen-class frigate and Braunschweig-class corvette.

Other important requirements are long maintenance periods: It should be possible to deploy Baden-Württemberg-class frigates for up to two years away from homeports with an average sea operation time of more than 5,000 hours per year (that's nearly 60%) which includes operation under tropical conditions. For this reason, a combined diesel-electric and gas arrangement has been chosen for the machinery. This allows the substitution of large and powerful diesel engines for propulsion and sets of smaller diesel generators for electric power generation with a pool of med-sized diesel generators, reducing the number of different engines.

To enhance survivability of the frigates, important systems are laid out in the two island principle, i.e. present at least twice at different places within the ship. This is also visible in the superstructures, which are split in two larger pyramidal deckhouses. The aerials of the Cassidian TRS-4D Active electronically scanned array radar will be distributed over the two pyramids. This will ensure that the ship remains operational in case of severe damage, such as accidents or enemy action. It will also allow the frigates to keep station if needed when something breaks down and no replacement is available.

An initial batch of four frigates was ordered by the German Navy on 26 June 2007. The initial batch of four ships costs around 2.2 billion Euros. In April 2007, a contract with Finmeccanica was signed for delivery of Otobreda 127 mm Vulcano main guns as well as remote-controlled light gun turrets for the Baden-Württemberg-class.[5] The initially considered 155 mm MONARC gun, as well as the naval GMLRS rocket launcher, were dropped due to problems with the navalization of these land-based systems. The deal with Oto Melara had become opportune, because Germany still had counter trade obligations towards Italy, as Italy had purchased two German U212A class submarines.

The Baden-Württemberg-class frigates are equipped with ten guns for defence against air and surface targets. The vessels are also armed with non-lethal weapons, such as water cannons and searchlights for non-provocative deterrence and defence.


The lead ship - Baden-Württemberg - was initially delivered with several problems. These included a persistent 1.3° list to starboard[6] and the fact that the ship was dramatically overweight which would limit its performance, increase its cost of operation, and most importantly, adversely affect the German Navy's ability to add future upgrades to the somewhat sparsely outfitted vessel.[7] Furthermore, there were also problems with the frigate's operations room from where the highly-automated ship will be controlled.[8] As a result the German defense procurement agency BAAINBw refused to commission the vessel, making it the first time in German naval history that the BAAINBw has refused to commission a ship and returned it to its builder.[9]

Baden-Württemberg was eventually accepted by the BAAINBw on 30 April 2019 and commissioned in June 2019, over two years later than originally planned.[10]

Ships in the class

Pennant number Name[11] Shipyard Laid down Launched[12] Commissioned[12][13] Status
F222Baden-WürttembergThyssenKrupp Marine Systems2 November 2011[14]12 December 2013[15]17 June 2019In active service
F223Nordrhein-WestfalenLürssen24 October 2012[16]16 April 2015[17][18]planned for 2019Fitting out
F224Sachsen-AnhaltThyssenKrupp Marine Systems4 June 2014[19]4 March 2016[20]planned by 2021Fitting out
F225Rheinland-PfalzLürssen29 January 2015[21]24 May 2017[22]planned by 2021Fitting out

See also

Similar ships


  2. "Making Do With Less".
  3. "First of TKMS built F-125 class Frigate "Baden-Württemberg" Christened for the German Navy". 12 December 2013.
  4. "9. Bericht des Bundesministeriums der Verteidigung zu Rüstungsangelegenheiten" [9th Report of the Federal Defence Ministry on Arms Affairs] (PDF) (in German). Berlin: Federal Defence Ministry. June 2019. p. 118.
  5. "FInmeccanica wins 80 mln eur German frigate orders". Archived from the original on 27 September 2007.
  7. "The German Navy Decided To Return Their Bloated New Frigate To The Ship Store This Christmas". The Drive. 23 December 2017. Retrieved 26 December 2017.
  8. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 15 January 2018. Retrieved 15 January 2018.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. "Germany returns lead F125 frigate to builder, report". Naval Today. 22 December 2017. Retrieved 26 December 2017.
  10. "Germany finally accepts delivery of lead F125 frigate FGS Baden-Württemberg". Naval Today. 30 April 2019. Archived from the original on 30 April 2019. Retrieved 30 April 2019.
  11. "Neue Fregatte der Marine mit traditionsreichem Namen" (in German). Presse- und Informationszentrum Marine. 20 December 2011. Retrieved 16 January 2012.
  12. "Archived copy", European Security and Defence (in German), Mittler Report Verlag (1/2011), archived from the original (online bei docstoc) on 16 February 2015, retrieved 31 January 2015CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. "F125 "Baden-Württemberg": Germany's most modern frigate entered service" (Press release). ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems. 17 June 2019. Archived from the original on 24 August 2019. Retrieved 24 August 2019.
  14. "Fregatte Baden-Württemberg - Kiellegung für einen Meilenstein" (in German). Presse- und Informationszentrum Marine. 3 November 2011. Retrieved 19 December 2011.
  15. "German Navy frigate "Baden-Württemberg" christened" (Press release). ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems. 12 December 2013. Retrieved 18 December 2013.
  16. "Kiellegung der zweiten Fregatte Klasse 125 in Lemwerder" (in German). MarineForum. 20 December 2012. Archived from the original on 27 July 2014. Retrieved 17 February 2013.
  17. "Second 125 class frigate christened in Hamburg" (Press release). ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems. 16 April 2015. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
  18. "Zweites Schiff der neuen Fregattenklasse 125 getauft" (Press release) (in German). Germany Navy. 16 April 2015. Retrieved 21 April 2015.
  19. Marcel Schaffhausen (5 June 2014). "Neue Fregatte "Sachsen-Anhalt" auf Kiel gelegt". (in German). Bundeswehr. Retrieved 30 January 2015.
  20. "Third frigate of Class 125 for the German Navy christened in Hamburg" (Press release). ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems. 4 March 2016. Retrieved 30 March 2016.
  21. Presse- und Informationszentrum Marine (29 January 2015). "Letzte Kiellegung der Fregattenklasse F 125" (in German). Bundeswehr. Retrieved 29 January 2015.
  22. "Germany Navy frigate "Rheinland-Pfalz" christened in Hamburg" (Press release). ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems. 24 May 2017. Retrieved 24 May 2017.
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