BERLIN --- Germany's much-delayed new frigates, built by ThyssenKrupp and Luerssen for at least 650 million euros (£551.4 million) apiece, are overweight and float with a persistent list to starboard, according to a confidential report seen by Reuters.
The ships, designed to need a crew of only 120, less than half their predecessors, are a crucial element in Germany's plans to beef up its military to face an increasingly uncertain European security landscape and a more assertive Russia.
Designed to remain at sea for far longer than the German armed forces' existing fleet, the new F125 frigates need extensive servicing only once every two years, compared to once every nine months for their predecessors.
The 1.3-degree starboard list and excess weight, which emerged during testing in September, means the ship is now close to the limit of its design parameters and will raise the class's lifetime maintenance costs by around 20 million euros, according to a confidential annex to a regular German defence ministry report. (end of excerpt)
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