thyssenkrupp Marine Systems and German Naval Yards Kiel announced on 8 August they have entered into an, "exclusive cooperation agreement,” for the further bidding process in the MKS 180 multi-role combat ship procurement project for the German Navy.
MKS 180 (Multi-Role Combat Ship), was previously designated Korevette 131 and foresees the building of four new vessels for the German Navy in a €3.9 billion programme. The next anticipated step is for the German defence procurement agency BAAINBw to issue a precise specification to the remaining bidders, requesting a ‘best and final offer,’ to which thyssenkrupp Marine Systems and German Naval Yards Kiel will respond. A final decision in the award procedure is not expected before 2019.
German Naval Yards Kiel is participating in the MKS 180 competition as a general contractor: the agreement effectively means that, should German Naval Yards Kiel win the contract, thyssenkrupp Marine Systems would perform a substantial share of the required development and engineering work as a subcontractor.
“We are bringing our decades of experience and expertise in naval shipbuilding to this partnership. We will strengthen the German Naval Yards bid in particular through the know-how of our engineers in integrating on-board systems of all kinds and their experience with the intensive use concept, a key requirement for the MKS 180 frigates. Our joint bid will secure the preservation of naval surface shipbuilding as a key technology for Germany. The awarding of the contract to German Naval Yards would secure jobs, not only at our company but also to a significant degree at other German suppliers,” commented thyssenkrupp Marine Systems CEO, Dr. Rolf Wirtz.
"Our offer for the MKS 180 programme becomes even stronger with the input of the two engineering houses Alion and thyssenkrupp Marine Systems,” German Naval Yards Kiel Managing Director Jörg Herwig, continued. “Our combined skills and expertise are enabling us to address the needs of our customer and to serve the quality of execution in the best possible way. We are very happy to welcome thyssenkrupp’s engineers into our team with whom we have already successfully collaborated in the past.”
German Naval Yards Kiel was previously contracted by Alion for an unrelated project.
The entire development and engineering of the ships will take place in Germany and the intellectual property rights and know-how related to the MKS 180 programme will remain in country.
The next step would be BAAINBw sending out a request a best and final offer. A final decision is not expected before 2019. Damen Shipyards and Blohm+Voss are the other bidding partners.
The Europe-wide tendering process for the six ships is expected to be concluded this year. In addition to being late, the ships are already €500 million over budget. Germany initially wanted to order four ships with options for two more but the German defence ministry announced in 2017 that it would order all six ships right away.
The 10,000-ton ships are expected to be capable of tackling targets above and below water in addition to supporting land missions. Armament should feature a 127mm naval gun while naval surface to air missiles should be capable of hitting targets at a distance of 25km thereby enabling protection from air threats.
The ships will be equipped with towed sonars for anti-submarine warfare and include sick bays or detention rooms for counter-piracy missions. Additional flexibility would be provided by an embarked helicopter and RHIBs for rapid deployment of boarding parties.