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. 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.
Nordrhein-Westfalen (F223) in Eckernförde Bay, 13 February 2018
|Builders:||ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems/Lürssen|
|Preceded by:||Sachsen-class frigate|
|Cost:||ca. € 775 million per ship|
|General characteristics (Note that the final design may differ)|
|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 |
|Capacity:||Space for two 6.1 m (20 ft 0 in) containers|
|Complement:||190 (standard crew: 110)|
|Sensors and |
|Electronic warfare |
|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.
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. 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 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. Furthermore, there were also problems with the frigate's operations room from where the highly-automated ship will be controlled. 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.
Ships in the class
|Pennant number||Name||Shipyard||Laid down||Launched||Commissioned||Status|
|F222||Baden-Württemberg||ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems||2 November 2011||12 December 2013||17 June 2019||In active service|
|F223||Nordrhein-Westfalen||Lürssen||24 October 2012||16 April 2015||planned for 2019||Fitting out|
|F224||Sachsen-Anhalt||ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems||4 June 2014||4 March 2016||planned by 2021||Fitting out|
|F225||Rheinland-Pfalz||Lürssen||29 January 2015||24 May 2017||planned by 2021||Fitting out|
- Álvaro de Bazán-class frigate, a Spanish frigate design adopted by the Australian, Norwegian and Spanish navies.
- Type 26 frigate, a British frigate design
- FREMM multipurpose frigate, French/Italian collaboration
- Iver Huitfeldt-class frigate, of the Danish Navy has roughly the same displacement
- Norwegian Fridtjof Nansen-class frigates are slightly smaller
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