PARIS --- The decision to launch the German Navy’s new MKS 180 class of multipurpose frigates is unlikely before the end of the year, and could well slide into the first quarter of 2020, the President of the German Senate, Daniel Günther, told the DPA news agency in Paris.
The multi-purpose MKS 180 is considered the future flagship of the German Navy and intended for long-duration missions and blue-water operations, and will have air-defense, anti-ship and anti-submarine capabilities, as well as having the capability to carry and land commandos or marine infantry troops.
Two groups are bidding for the contract: German Naval Yards in Kiel, teamed with Germany’s TKMS, and the Dutch shipyard Damen Shipyards and its German partner Blohm &Voss.
The Navy hopes for a decision in the current tendering process in the spring and the required parliamentary approval in the second half of the year.
The program, which is considered as a prestige program for the German Navy, is operationally significant because its current frigates, including the latest F125 class, were designed to operate in the Baltic Sea, the North Sea and the North Atlantic, and have an endurance of about 30 days at sea.
The MKS 180 class was initially due to cost around four billion euros for four ships, but is expected to end up costing over 5 billion euros.