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Germany signs off on Type 424 AGI build contract

NVL Group will build three new Type 424 SIGINT vessels for the German Navy. (NVL Group)

Germany's Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) and Naval Vessels Lürssen (NVL) Group have signed a contract amendment covering the construction and delivery of three new Type 424 intelligence-gathering vessels (AGIs) for service with the German Navy.

Intended to replace the three Type 423 Oste-class AGIs, all of which entered service in the late 1980s, the Type 424 design has been developed to meet requirements for a specialised signals intelligence (SIGINT) vessel able to monitor radar and communications signals across a broad spectrum. Alongside the design, construction, and acceptance of the three new AGIs, the contract also includes the provision of a shore-based training and reference facility.

Lürssen Werft GmbH – the naval activities of which are now resident in NVL Group – was awarded a contract in June 2021 for the Type 424 design phase. This initial phase involved the joint development of the full construction specification for the new 132 m long SIGINT ships in co-operation with BAAINBw.

Following the approval of the Budget Committee of the German Bundestag on 5 July, BAAINBw and NVL Group on 8 July signed the contract amendment for Type 424 detailed design and construction. According to BAAINBw, the Type 424 training and reference facility is planned for delivery in 2027, with the first AGI to follow in 2029. The third and final Type 424 ship is scheduled for delivery in 2031.

The value of the contract to NVL Group has not been disclosed. BAAINBw has not released details of the contractor(s) for the Type 424 SIGINT payload at the time of publication.

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