F126 Frigate Project

Introducing the F126 Frigate Project

In June 2020, after a multi-year European competitive tender process, Damen Naval and the German Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) signed a contract for the design and construction of four MKS 180 multi-purpose combat ships for the German Navy. Later that year, the ship was reclassified as the Frigate Class 126 (F126).

View model

Global operations

With a length of 166 metres and a displacement of up to 10,000 tonnes, the F126 frigates will be the largest in the German naval fleet. These will be capable of operating in all latitudes ; from the tropics all the way to polar regions. Damen’s highly automated and low maintenance design will allow the German Navy to operate the ship continuously with a core crew of 114 (rotating every four months) for up to two years.

A multi-purpose naval platform

Damen Naval is designing the F126 frigates to meet the German Navy’s primary requirement of providing multi-purpose combat capability to national and allied naval forces. This will enable deployment in a broad range of military operations from maritime surveillance, embargo control and military evacuation at one end of the scale, to full command of a naval task force at the other.

The F126 project in brief

One design – multiple uses

The F126 frigate will be a flexible multi-mission platform; one type of vessel that can be utilized in a variety of situations. This will be achieved by modularity. Depending on the specific needs of the German Navy, dedicated mission modules can be installed when needed. Damen is designing the modules so that they can be interchanged without the need for a lengthy commissioning period.

Technical prowess

The F126 frigates will be equipped with state-of-the-art technologies regarding redundancy, survivability and detectability. In terms of sensors and weapons, this includes a Combat Management System supported by a comprehensive array of Anti-Air Warfare (AAW), Above Water Warfare System (AWWS) and Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) systems.

Forward thinking power generation

Damen has selected robust and future-proof power generation systems that will result in lower fuel consumption (and therefore lower carbon emissions) and compatibility with sustainable energy sources. This will give the German Navy the option to integrate new technologies over the course of the vessels’ lifecycle.

Built for Germany, in Germany

Although Damen will be carrying the design and engineering work in the Netherlands, the actual construction of the vessels will take place in Germany. Under coordination from project partner Blohm+Voss, the ships will be built at yards in Hamburg, Kiel and Wolgast. Damen’s second project partner is Thales Nederland, under whose scope is the combat managements system, combat systems integration and the majority of the mission essential sensors.

An international project supporting national industry

Besides the two main partners, many small and medium-sized German companies from the maritime, mechanical engineering and construction industries are involved in the F126 project. As such, the project will strongly benefit German knowledge development. Therefore the project will have a very significant amount of German content. However, because a number of Dutch, Norwegian, American and Italian companies are also involved, the F126 project will stimulate international maritime technological cooperation.

Interested in a conversation?

Contact us and get in touch with the experts in field.