German Navy

kato

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
They're actually throwing us a little nugget for once:

Designskizze.jpg

Design sketch from Lürssen, who also holds the image rights. May be used for editorial purposes (publication) provided this is stated.
Released unclassified by PIZ BAAInBw.
 

Sandhi Yudha

Well-Known Member
Due to parliament approving the 2.1 billion Euro for it yesterday the Bundeswehr today signed a contract with Lürssen for three new ELINT ships... err, reconnaissance ships ... err, "fleet service boats". Whatever they call them now. Basically those ships that we have been unofficially parking off the coasts of Libya and Syria for the last decade.

The ships will be "about 130m length" and will get the type number 424. I doubt we'll get all that many details beyond that. Planned commissioning 2027, replacing the current 83m-long Oste class / Type 423 vessels.
Ah...Navalnews just posted an article about it.


But there is not much more information in this article than you posted. No images, no technical data of the new Type 424 class. Also not on Lürssens' website.
 
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kato

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
We've seen the shortlisted prices from Lürssen-GNYK and MV Werften. Meyer-Neptun and Pella Sietas have full order books out to 2025 and 2024 respectively, so probably didn't submit a bid since they wouldn't have been able to deliver in the desired timeframe anyway.
Placing it here for context:

The winning bid was apparently the one from Lürssen-GNYK for 914 million Euro total (and yes, that's more than the 860 million previously announced). MV Werften's bid was apparently conditional to the Genting financing situation, and rejected for that reason.

Some (at least 50%, possibly all) of the work will apparently be subcontracted by Lürssen-GNYK to Meyer-Neptun though, so there's someone with actual experience with tankers and rapid construction involved.

I have not seen any result for the FSG case which should have been announced this wednesday. A week ago there were rumours that politicians had successfully lobbied FSG into retracting their lawsuit, possibly in return for acting as subcontractors on one of the contracts; as of last sunday the case had not been retracted though.
 

kato

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
The German Federal Ministry of the Interior stealthily ordered a fourth Potsdam class OPV earlier this year. The official market designation seems to be "OPV 86 BP" btw (BP for Bundespolizei, Federal Police). The money for the ship presumably comes from the Corona Package - the first three were similarly bought from a stimulus package.

I say stealthily because they simply changed their contract with Fassmer for an additional ship based upon requiring "an identical ship to avoid differences in operation". The order includes armament like the other ships (57mm gun and two .50cal HMG). The contract change as i understand it allows for 90 million Euro budget for the ship - the original ships ordered five years ago were 68 million each including armament package. Delivery seems to be planned for sometime around June 2023.
 
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kato

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
Atlas Elektronik will upgrade five Frankenthal class minehunters between 2022 and 2025. Contract is worth 44 million Euro.

The official version is that the boats will "receive" the IMCMS combat management system for mine warfare (commercially known as Atlas ARCIMS).

However, all five boats affected already had IMCMS integrated in an upgrade between 2009 and 2012 (Type MJ332C). The new contract merely seems to upgrade their systems to the same standard that three other boats (Type MJ332CL) received in 2017, hence why it's also that cheap. The major difference so far is that these three boats are control vehicles for up to four Seehund large minesweeping USVs each. The remaining two boats in the fleet beyond these eight (Type MJ332B) will not be upgraded and serve as mine diver boats.

Part of the contract is building a second land-side trainer with identical equipment in order to be fully able to rotate crews. A first one was already built with the 2017 contract.

It's technically still planned to start replacing all ten boats around 2025-2027.
 

kato

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
Fassmer got the contract for the two 50m "Sea Trials, Coast" boats.

bundeswehr-erneuert-messboote-in-eckernf-rde.jpg
Image Rights: Fassmer GmbH & Co KG, declassified by PIZ AIN, use for editorial purposes permitted provided image credits are given.

The two ships will be assigned to the naval weapons trials agency WTD71, where they replace three older boats. WTD71 is housed at the Eckernförde naval base, which also hosts the 1st Submarine Squadron and the Naval Infantry Battalion.

The design is relatively conventional and follows the general lines of mid-size survey and fisheries protection boats Fassmer has been building for both public authorities and commercially (*). Overall the design is also relatively close to the Schwedeneck multipurpose boats (50m LPP, 1000 tons displacement) that WTD71 also runs since the 80s and that are themselves planned to be replaced by larger ships.

The intention for these ships is to be highly reconfigurable for different tasks. Envisioned taskset is mostly things like torpedo recovery, supporting submarines in shallow water trials, UUV/AUV/ROV deployment or diver support. The ships will be unarmed in their regular service, but - well, you don't put an exclusion marking suitably sized for at least a 27mm gun on a CG image just for fun. Normal winch markings tend to look different.


(*) Smallest version of that general design from Fassmer is the coastal research vessel Uthörn II at 36m length which is currently building for the Federal Ministry of Education and Research for use by maritime and polar research organization AWI.
 
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chis73

Active Member
Thanks for that news kato. Very interesting!

It's odd, but this is exactly the kind of vessel I've been advocating that the Royal New Zealand Navy buy for about 10 years now - a nice simple low-cost multi-purpose 'odd-job' type, that can carry a container or two of equipment on the back. Previously I've suggested the Canadian MCDV, a modified French La Perouse class, and the Damen MRAV concept. A good vessel for minor diving ops, ROV work etc., but big enough to stay out for a couple of weeks. This one looks like you could easily fit a small stabilized cannon on the foredeck for constabulary functions (unlike the Damen MRAV for example).

Anyway, I came across some information in another forum that the estimated price tag for this project was 95m Euro (for two vessels). Just wondering if you have any further information (ie. length, draught, crew complement, speed, range etc.)? There doesn't appear to be anything on the Fassmer website as yet. As you say, they look very similar to the Type 748 Schwedeneck class. I presume the propulsion is diesel-electric (judging by the pods), and that there is no sonar / echo-sounder fitted.
 

kato

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
Anyway, I came across some information in another forum that the estimated price tag for this project was 95m Euro (for two vessels). Just wondering if you have any further information (ie. length, draught, crew complement, speed, range etc.)? There doesn't appear to be anything on the Fassmer website as yet. As you say, they look very similar to the Type 748 Schwedeneck class.
For the two SVK boats only their length - 50m - has been published; the requirements list - in which all those details are - has always been classified and was only provided to accredited bidders. The ships are built to civilian standards. For displacement scaled from similar-design vessels from Fassmer (both larger and smaller) they will probably end up at around 840-850 tons.

For similar designs from Fassmer you'll have to look in the "research and survey vessel" section of their portfolio, in particular the two Fugro Marine Services requirement concepts they adapted onto their own pre-existing 42m hull design as well as a 65m variant (Fugro also had Damen adapt that requirement concept onto a 54m MRAV hull). I wouldn't expect SVK with specs - and even then with lots of "classified" - to make it on their website before the first one is commissioned.

I would assume crew numbers for basic ship operation to be somewhere around 6-10. Propulsion will definitely be diesel-electric, if they were "exotic" (e.g. LNG) they would advertise it.

Fuel reserves for range on such ships should be heavily adaptable to whatever the customer requests. The Fugro 65m vessels do nearly 9,000 nm at 10 knots to facilitate global deployment for their business. For the two SVK ships now ordered i doubt the range or endurance will be all that big - they are laid out to support trials primarily in the Baltic Sea within the rather small German EEZ, you don't need more than a week endurance and perhaps 2,000 nm range at decent speed for any scenario that they may be used in.

The Navy plans to acquire six larger 65m vessels probably of a similar configuration under the moniker SVS ("Sea Trials, Sea" vs SVK = "Sea Trials, Coast"). Those would then be intended for longer multi-week deployments over longer distances (primarily in Norway, to be exact). Tender for that hasn't been issued yet.

Ships of WTD71 have a notional wartime reserve coastal patrol boat role (earmarked since the 70s), and that space marked out on the forecastle looks sized about right for rapid installation of a MLG27 light gun for this purpose, of which the Navy Arsenal should always have a couple spare. Integrated EO sensor and laser rangefinder, single self-contained console - perfect for that kinda thing.
Given that they are to support submarine operations and torpedo trials they should have some sort of sonar btw, even if it's just one of those echosounders you hang overboard.

The 95.08 million Euro is the cost they ended up at for the two ships; presumably this includes some sort of support/maintenance contract and spare parts package though. The originally envisioned budget for the ships was 30 million Euro and was presumably based on the cost for the Research-Ministry-financed "Uthörn II" ship from Fassmer (14.5 million), which is pretty much the same design in a 36m variant and a rather recent contract - they just laid her keel last month.
 

kato

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
P.S. for comparison, since i referenced her and she's also not on Fassmer's website (yet)...

This is Uthörn II, currently under construction at Fassmer. Planned delivery offhand is January 2022.

uthoern.jpg
Image credits: Fassmer GmbH & Co KG.

Uthörn II at 35.7m length is the smallest variant of the same basic design line. The ship is completely financed by and was tendered out by the Federal Ministry of Research and Education. Fassmer won the contract in a EU-wide competition.

The ship is purpose-built for the Alfred Wegener Institute (maritime and polar research) for a specific task - taking measurements on water conditions in the North Sea within the German EEZ, primarily around Germany's only offshore island of Helgoland. Temperature profiles, salinity, cloudiness etc. It also carries a fishing echosounder to detect and analyze fish swarms, and will likely carry fishing gear to take samples. With some equipment containerized she will be somewhat flexible in that regard. Replacing a 30m cutter for AWI (called Uthörn) one of her main tasks is also serving as a training vessel - they train maritime sciences students on heavier gear on ships this way.

Advertising video from AWI featuring various sequences of deployment from the old cutter Uthörn and the above CG of Uthörn II from a variety of angles.

Due to the specific task the ship could be downsized pretty much exactly to the specifications required - which are largely copied off of the ship she is replacing: sufficiently sized to be oceangoing, but only 1200 nm range and 5 days endurance (+5 days reserve) since she's not gonna hang out out there but merely go to pre-arranged survey sites (once or twice per week), take her measurements and go back. The range - and her design top speed at 10 knots - is also relatively low since she will be running her diesel-electric propulsion on methanol. Accomodation onboard is for 5 crew and 4 scientists, on single-day cruises e.g. with students she can take on 25 passengers.

Copying requirements from the old cutter went as far as the tender actually even prescribing that its "about 30m length" should be kept. The Fassmer design exceeds that as it basically puts the same deckspace on a (in all dimensions) 90% scale model of their standard 42m hull of this kind of design.
 
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