Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding (DAMEN) and the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) signed the contract for the construction of the multi-purpose battle ship “MKS 180” for the German Navy.
On 17 June 2020, the implementation of the project was approved by the Budget Committee of the German Bundestag. The signing of the contract is the result of a European tender issued by the BAAINBw in 2015. In January this year, Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding, together with its partners Blohm+Voss, a subsidiary of the Lürssen Group, and Thales, has already been declared the winner of the tender, subject to parliamentary approval.
The contract signed today comprises the initial supply of four ships during the years 2027 to 2031, and is worth about 4.6 billion Euro excluding VAT. Furthermore, an option for a possible supply of two more ships in the years beyond 2032 has been agreed. This makes it one of the largest procurement projects in the history of the German Navy.
As the general contractor, DAMEN and its partners Lürssen, its subsidiary Blohm+Voss, and Thales, are pleased about the contracting and the confidence it expresses with regard to the competence of the project team.
Hein van Ameijden, Managing Director of Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding, explains: “Now, we want to quickly start building the ships in Germany. Our goal is to ensure that the soldiers of the German Navy can dispose of their new ships as quickly as possible. What is also important to me: With the 'MKS 180' project, we promote European cooperation in naval shipbuilding and make a joint contribution to security in Europe.”
Together with its partners and involving German Naval Yards Kiel, Damen will handle the order in a way that about 80% of the total net investments will remain in Germany as local value added. The ships will be built at Blohm+Voss in Hamburg, involving other Northern German shipyards in Bremen, Kiel, as well as in Wolgast and thus 100 percent in Germany.
“Together with our employees, we as the Lürssen Group will use our skills and know-how to provide the German Navy with this powerful and highly innovative new type of ship,” says Tim Wagner, Managing Director of Fr. Lürssen Werft.
The electronic mission systems commissioned at Thales Nederland also show the dominance of German value creation and know-how development: About 70 percent of the services will be provided by Thales Deutschland, for example at the locations in Kiel and Wilhelmshaven, and by several German subcontractors.
“As a partner in the MKS 180 programme, we do not only contribute a high German value-added share, but also many years of experience in European cooperation and our comprehensive system competence in Germany. This way, we will create new, high-quality jobs in Germany, reinforce a perfect example for European armaments cooperation and make our contribution to maintain the German Navy's operational capability and contribution capability within the alliance,” emphasises Dr. Christoph Hoppe, CEO of Thales Deutschland.
The following applies to the whole project: The proven German value and supply chains will be fully integrated. More than 100 small and medium-sized companies, especially from the machinery and plant engineering sector, as well as from the maritime industry in almost all federal states will benefit from subcontracting.
With the Damen Shipyards Group and the North German shipyard group Lürssen as the parent company of Blohm+Voss, two family businesses with a long-term orientation have entered into partnership. Both companies are owned and managed by the respective families Damen and Lürssen. A successful German-Dutch cooperation in the “MKS 180” project forms the basis and the potential for future international joint projects. This also opens up new perspectives for European naval shipbuilding as a whole.