On 23 May – the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Federal Republic of Germany – the first of four new corvettes being built by German Naval Yards Kiel for the Israeli Navy was named MAGEN (Hebrew for ‘protector’ or ‘defender’).
“The naming of a ship is always an important milestone and emotional moment for any navy,” observed the Commander of the Israeli Navy, RAdm Eli Sharvit. “The fact that this special event coincides with the 70th birthday of the Federal Republic of Germany underlines the great significance of the project and the special relationship between our two countries.”
After a construction period of only 15 months, the joint venture of thyssenkrupp Marine Systems (tkMS) and German Naval Yards Kiel was able to hand over the first ship at the beginning of May. The naming ceremony is an important step, and for the crew the name becomes both a motto and an obligation.
“Here in Kiel, we are closely working together based on mutual respect towards the Israeli project team and the colleagues from tkMS. Only in this way were and are we in a position to stay within time and budget for this very demanding and complex project,” commented German Naval Yards Kiel’s Managing Director, Jörg Herwig.
MAGEN will remain at the outfitting pier for several months, being made seaworthy for the crossing to Israel. This involves installation of further equipment and systems as well as port and sea trials. A further three ships are currently under construction, the last of which will be handed over to the Israeli Navy in 2021.