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02 Sep 2022

Kongsberg To Provide Propellers And Shaft Lines To F-126 Frigates

Kongsberg To Provide Propellers And Shaft Lines To F-126 Frigates
Image: Damen Naval
Kongsberg press release

The F-126 platform, due to enter service in 2028, will have an overall length of around 160 meters and a displacement of approximately 10.000 tons. It will accommodate up to 114 crew members with 80 additional berths. The multipurpose frigate is capable of operational missions in all maritime warfare domains but is also able to perform other duties, such as: enforcing naval embargos, counter-piracy missions, long time maritime patrolling, maritime escort and convoy tasks, the support of special forces, and to act as a command ship for task groups.

The four ships, each with two propellers and shaft lines, will be constructed entirely in Germany at shipyards in Wolgast, Kiel, and Hamburg. The building program is set to deliver the ships between 2028 and 2031, with the option to build two more after 2032, with an extended scope of Kongsberg Maritime equipment.

The Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBW) contracted Damen Naval to design and construct the F-126 frigates in 2020. The propeller/shaft line system is the successful result of close cooperation between Damen Naval, Kongsberg Maritime, HSVA test institute from Hamburg and the classification society.

“We are proud and excited to be partners with Damen in this very important program. Our long relationship working closely with Damen and with a mutual understanding of the required technology, managed by our experienced and dedicated Project Management teams will be an important success factor in building these frigates.”

Maria Bergsman, Responsible for the Sale at Kongsberg Maritime

“Kongsberg Maritime´s professional, customer driven and dedicated approach made it an easy choice when it came to sourcing the CP-propeller systems for the new frigates.”

Dirk Henneberg, F126 Project Procurement Manager

Kongsberg Maritime has a long history of collaboration on naval shipbuilding projects with Damen Naval. Reference projects include, among others, the ASRV Nuyina (the icebreaker for Australia), the HNLMS Karel Doorman (Joint Support Ship), HNLMS Den Helder (Combat Support Ship) and SIGMA frigates.

About F-126 frigates

The Fregatte Klasse 126 (Frigate class 126 or “F126”, previously known as project Multi-Purpose Combat Ship Mehrzweckkampfschiff 180 “MKS180” ) will be a multi-mission platform. In December 2020, the ship type was renamed Frigate Class 126 (“F126”).

Built-in modules designed for specific military missions will make this possible. These mission modules are at the heart of what “multipurpose combat ship” means in practice.

  • Self-defense and combat missions
  • Creation of a maritime picture above and under water
  • Maritime surveillance and embargo control, including VBSS
  • Military evacuation in crisis situations
  • Escort for merchant ships
  • Command of a naval task force

The first of four ships is scheduled for delivery in 2028. For the record, the German parliament (Bundestag) formally approved the procurement of four multi-purpose F-126 vessels in June 2020. In the contract, the Bundeswehr keeps an option open for the procurement of two additional ships. The same month, Damen Shipyards Group and the German Bundesamt für Ausrüstung, Informationstechnik und Nutzung der Bundeswehr (BAAINBw) signed the contract for the construction of four F-126 frigates for the German Navy.

Thales will be providing the following systems:

  • Tacticos combat management system
  • Satcom system
  • APAR Block 2 x-band multifunction radar for AWWS
  • Gatekeeper 360° IR/TV system
  • Mirador MK2 EO tracking and observation system

Other equipment (non-Thales) that will be fuzed with the Thales systems (Tacticos + AWWS):

  • MK41 VLS for ESSM Block 2
  • Naval Strike Missile (NSM)
  • KORA C-ESM and R-ESM
  • TRS-4D c-band air and surface surveillance radar
  • 127mm main gun with Vulcano extended range precision munition

The decoy launchers will likely be the MASS by Rheinmetall. F-126 will be fitted with a sonar suite as well, but the competition for this contract is still ongoing.

Thales’s Mission and Combat System includes the comprehensive Tacticos Combat Management System and the AWWS (Above Water Warfare System) Fire Control Cluster. The contract includes four ship systems, logistic services, and multiple land-based test and training sites, as well as the option for one or two additional ships.

F-126 Main Characteristics

  • Length: approximately 155 meters at waterline
  • Displacement: maximum 9,000 tonnes
  • Accommodation: 110 crew, 70 passengers
  • Operating endurance: 24 months
  • Operating area: worldwide
  • Ice class: 1C / E1 for sea areas with ice formation
  • Service life: 30 years
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