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Keel laid for first German Type 126 frigate

The keel of the future Type 126 frigate Niedersachsen was officially laid down at the Peene-Werft shipyard in Wolgast on 3 June 2024. (Bundeswehr)

The keel for the first of four Type 126 multi-purpose frigate on order the Germany Navy, the future Niedersachsen (F 226), was officially laid down at NVL Group's Peene-Werft shipyard in Wolgast on 3 June.

The latest milestone, announced by the Bundeswehr the same day, follows the start of manufacturing activities for the lead ship on 5 December 2023.

Under current planning, Niedersachsen is expected to be launched in 2026 and start sea trials in 2027, with a view to delivery in 2028. All four are scheduled to complete delivery by 2031.

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 frigates are being built at the 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.

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