Damen Naval and its partner NVL Group have commenced construction of the German Navy’s first F126 frigate.
A steel cutting ceremony for the first F126 frigate took place on 5 December 2023 at NVL Group’s Peene-Werft shipyard in Wolgast.
Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Defence of Germany Siemtje Möller said, “With the F126 frigates, the German Navy will have a modern asset that will serve as an effective deterrent and defend our own security that that of our allies, conducting maritime operations around the world.”
Damen Shipyards Group Chief Executive Arnout Damen said, “We are proud to be able to start cutting steel on schedule. We were able to complete the development phase in record time, something that is partly due to the excellent cooperation with BAAINBW, the German Navy and the German authorities.”
NVL Group CEO Tim Wagner said, “We are delighted to start production of the F126 and to contribute our shipbuilding skills and expertise to the project together with prime contractor Damen.
“Our yard in Wolgast is a reliable partner for the German Navy in the construction and repair of highly complex naval vessels. Thanks to targeted support measures, extensive investment in infrastructure and motivated employees, Peene-Werft has a clear prospect for the future. Our role in the construction of the ships will secure employment until 2028, with positive effects for the entire region.”
In June 2020, the BAAINBw (the Bundesamt für Ausrüstung, Informationstechnik und Nutzung der Bundeswehr, Germany’s Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and in-Service Support) awarded a contract for the construction of four F126 frigates to Damen Naval as prime contractor, with Blohm+Voss and Thales as principle sub-contractors. The contract for the quartet of vessels includes an option for two more frigates.
Over the past three and a half years, Damen Naval and partners have developed the design for the vessels which are being built at shipyards in Wolgast, Kiel and Hamburg.
Steelwork and pre-assembly for the stern sections of the vessels will take place at Peene-Werft. The foreship will be built in Kiel, where it will be assembled with the stern and towed by sea to Blohm+Voss in Hamburg. Final outfitting, commissioning, testing and delivery, along with the outfitting of the on-board systems, will take place at Blohm+Voss. Delivery of the first ship is scheduled for 2028.