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First German Type 126 frigate starts construction

Damen Naval marked the official start of the construction phase of the Type 126 frigates programme with a steel-cutting ceremony on 5 December. Pictured (from left to right): Damen Shipyards Group's CEO Arnout Damen and Lürssen CEO Friedrich Lürssen. (Damen/Felix Matthies)

Damen Naval held a steel-cutting ceremony for the first Type 126 multi-purpose frigate on order for the German Navy at NVL Group's Peene-Werft shipyard in Wolgast, Germany, on 5 December.

Netherlands-based Damen Shipyards Group was awarded a EUR4.6 billion (USD5 billion) design and construction contract for four Type 126 frigates by Germany's Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology, and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) in June 2020. Under the contract, Damen, acting as prime contractor, is delivering the programme in partnership with NVL Group subsidiary Blohm+Voss and Thales (as mission systems integrator).

The four ships are being built entirely in Germany at Blohm+Voss shipyard in Hamburg and Peene-Werft in Wolgast, as well as at German Naval Yards in Kiel. Steelwork and pre-assembly of the aft sections for each ship will take place at Peene-Werft, while the forward sections will be built at German Naval Yards and then assembled with the stern and towed by sea to Blohm+Voss in Hamburg. Final outfitting, commissioning, testing, and delivery, as well as outfitting of the onboard systems, will take place at Blohm+Voss.

Under current planning the lead ship is expected to start sea trials in 2027, with a view to delivery in 2028. All four are scheduled for delivery by 2031. The contract includes an option for another two ships to be delivered after 2032.

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