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Bundeswehr selects new replenishment tanker

29 July 2019
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Launched in 1974, the German Navy’s Spessart is one of two Type 704 replenishment tankers that will be replaced on a one-for-one basis by the Type 707. Source: Bundeswehr/Christin Krakow

The Generalinspekteur der Bundeswehr (German Chief of Defence Staff), General Eberhard Zorn, selected a new replenishment tanker on 17 July, the German Navy announced on its website on 26 July.

The two new Type 707 replenishment tankers will be able to carry 15,000 m3 of fuel and 20 containers, compared with 11,500 m3 and two containers for the two Type 704 Rhön-class tankers Rhön and Spessart they will replace. Therefore, they will be bigger, with a length of 170 m and a planned displacement of over 20,000 tonnes, compared with 130 m and 14,200 tonnes, respectively, for the Rhön class. However, the two classes' draught will be the same - 8 m - to avoid having to dredge the Wilhelmshaven Naval Base on the North Sea for them to dock at.

The Type 707 will have a speed of over 20 kt, compared with 16 kt for the Type 704, so they can keep up with other warships such as frigates, according to the German Navy, which expects the new class to serve until the 2050s.

The new Type 707 tanker will have a crew of 42, similar to the Type 704 it will replace.

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