German Navy

ngatimozart

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German MoD Ends P-3C Orion MPA Modernization Program - Seeking Alternative - Naval News


The German / French agreement to find a common airframe for the replacement of the Orion P3C and the ATL 2 appear to have been thrown out of sync. The German navy were going to modernize their P3 aircraft but it would appear due to the costs involved they intend to retire them early. The French are currently having updated ATL2 aircraft delivered to them and will not require replacement until the mid-30’s. This out of sync situation has forced the Germain Navy to explore alternatives or interim replacements. The German Navy intend to retire the Orion by 2025 where as the French will retire the ATL2 by 2035. The common airframe that appears to be the front runner is the Airbus A320 MPA variant shown in the article. T
Well Airbus better get their collective A into G then. They have 4 years to design prototype and have a LRIP up and running. The Germans could also go Boeing and have Poseidons delivered in 2024.
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
It is likely Canada will miss out on P-8s as production will have ceased by the time our P-3 fleet will be retired. Canada might be a potential partner, especially if a A220 built in Canada was selected as the airframe. IMO, France and Germany would be better off on their own using a A320/A321 leaving Canada the option to purchase or not.
 

kato

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Verified Defense Pro
Do you think that will be the MPA variant of the A320 that Airbus have been pushing lately? Or will the C295MPA suffice? If it's the A320MPA then Airbus better start getting a move on because it's not easy adapting an airliner to a MPA - just ask Boeing, or Lockheed for that matter. I realise that Airbus had already had an es earlier proposal with the A319MPA, so they are part way there and they can leverage off that.
A320neo M3A MPA was/is an Airbus marketing balloon flanking the current phase in which both sides are trying to develop a capability requirement set for MAWS.
Airbus in this attempts to push for something that integrates a more complicated, non-MPA, capability set in order to shift the possible solution sought towards a product only they can offer, with M3A basically offering to be a solution for:
  • MPA roles in replacement of P-3C and Atlantique II
  • SIGINT and overland surveillance roles of the Atlantique (and Gabriel) in former German and active French use
  • mentioning the keyword AEW&C knowing that the French will be looking for an E-3F replacement in the same timeframe
  • positioning multi-role use as reconfigurable MRT aircraft as a possible low-end replacement for A310 in both countries, including PAX versions

Re the A319 MPA, it's basically the same aircraft. The A319 is an A320 with seven fuselage frames removed (was called A320M-7 in design even...), the neo variants simply are equipped with the current engine generation.

Internally Airbus supposedly is studying an alternative integration of MPA components into the A220, the former CSeries design bought from Bombardier.

Well Airbus better get their collective A into G then. They have 4 years to design prototype and have a LRIP up and running. The Germans could also go Boeing and have Poseidons delivered in 2024.
Germany is seeking an interim solution until MAWS due to the failure of the P-3C update programme. The formal information from the ministry to parliament included as possible off-the-shelf options P-8 Poseiden, C-295MPA and ATR-72-derived variants (specifically the RAS-72, a MPA version built by a small German company for Pakistan). These are all options that could be available for introduction by 2025. Obviously the selection would influence the future chances of MAWS being realized.
 

kato

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But from what I have heard the F-125 is like an armed cruise ship, it even comes with two saunas!
I've been pondering where this kind of rumour comes from, and think it's related to British criticism of RFA ships, specifically STUFT, and disdain of these as "not proper navy ships" in some circles.

The sauna meme first seems to have been around for ten years or so regarding RFA Diligence in particular, has been applied to other RFA ships, more recently seems to have been attempted to be transferred over to Type 26 ("not a real combat ship either") and probably from there transferred over to F125 ("... and the saunas are redundant too!").
 

swerve

Super Moderator
...

Internally Airbus supposedly is studying an alternative integration of MPA components into the A220, the former CSeries design bought from Bombardier.

Germany is seeking an interim solution until MAWS due to the failure of the P-3C update programme. The formal information from the ministry to parliament included as possible off-the-shelf options P-8 Poseiden, C-295MPA and ATR-72-derived variants (specifically the RAS-72, a MPA version built by a small German company for Pakistan). These are all options that could be available for introduction by 2025. Obviously the selection would influence the future chances of MAWS being realized.
What went wrong with the P-3C update? The EADS CASA (Airbus) update of Spanish & Brazilian P-3s went OK, as far as I know, & Airbus Spain has delivered quite a few CN-235s & C-295s modified for maritime patrol.

The basic design of A220 is newer than A320, & it's not cut down from something bigger, so I can see that it might be more efficient than A319. But if Airbus is struggling, perhaps they should subcontract the work to SAAB, given how long it's taken them to adapt other commercial aircraft. ;)
 

John Fedup

The Bunker Group
Perhaps if things had been more positive for the C-Series when Saab started the Swordfish, the selected platform could have been the A220 instead of the Global. This might have been a better bone for the GoC to throw at Bombardier instead of buckets of cash for nothing and the RCAF might have had a faster Aurora replacement.
 

kato

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Verified Defense Pro
What went wrong with the P-3C update?
The update and delays within it negatively impacted availability of the P-3C fleet for ongoing deployments. In addition there were escalating costs

As of 2018, on average out of 8 aircraft, up to 3 were tied up non-available (1-2 at Airbus), 3 were in their normal maintenance, training etc and 2 were fully mission-ready and available. Those two were set aside and used, one for EU-related (mostly Indian Ocean), the other for NATO-related (mostly Baltic) deployments.

The update timetable is complicated in that it involves multiple upgrade projects running in parallel - with the MLU only being one of them, the major one is a replacement of the entire mission avionics system - being stretched out sequentially to not tie up further aircraft in parallel. It is also hampered by certain contract signings being delayed and of course due to Airbus having to buy new wings for the MLU after their procured stock was destroyed in a fire.

In March 2020 one of the active P-3Cs was severely damaged while being fueled, apparently to the point where they're considering it a write-off. As a consequence the Bundeswehr analyzed whether it was possible to maintain the 2-active-aircraft model with the remaining 7, and found it was not possible to do so unless the upgrade was further stretched or canceled. In combination with the mounting delays and escalating costs they therefore cancelled it, with the two aircraft currently at Airbus still completing their MLU.
 

Toptob

Active Member
I've been pondering where this kind of rumour comes from, and think it's related to British criticism of RFA ships, specifically STUFT, and disdain of these as "not proper navy ships" in some circles.

The sauna meme first seems to have been around for ten years or so regarding RFA Diligence in particular, has been applied to other RFA ships, more recently seems to have been attempted to be transferred over to Type 26 ("not a real combat ship either") and probably from there transferred over to F125 ("... and the saunas are redundant too!").
But do the F-125's have sauna's or not? I really heard somewhere that they had gender segregated saunas.

A320neo M3A MPA was/is an Airbus marketing balloon flanking the current phase in which both sides are trying to develop a capability requirement set for MAWS.
Airbus in this attempts to push for something that integrates a more complicated, non-MPA, capability set in order to shift the possible solution sought towards a product only they can offer, with M3A basically offering to be a solution for:
  • MPA roles in replacement of P-3C and Atlantique II
  • SIGINT and overland surveillance roles of the Atlantique (and Gabriel) in former German and active French use
  • mentioning the keyword AEW&C knowing that the French will be looking for an E-3F replacement in the same timeframe
  • positioning multi-role use as reconfigurable MRT aircraft as a possible low-end replacement for A310 in both countries, including PAX versions

Re the A319 MPA, it's basically the same aircraft. The A319 is an A320 with seven fuselage frames removed (was called A320M-7 in design even...), the neo variants simply are equipped with the current engine generation.

Internally Airbus supposedly is studying an alternative integration of MPA components into the A220, the former CSeries design bought from Bombardier.


Germany is seeking an interim solution until MAWS due to the failure of the P-3C update programme. The formal information from the ministry to parliament included as possible off-the-shelf options P-8 Poseiden, C-295MPA and ATR-72-derived variants (specifically the RAS-72, a MPA version built by a small German company for Pakistan). These are all options that could be available for introduction by 2025. Obviously the selection would influence the future chances of MAWS being realized.

What are we looking at here price wise? The P8 looks to be quite an expensive aircraft, is this program intended to produce a similar aircraft? And considering that even with Germany and France together it would still be a modest production run compared to the P8. And even the US had to cut back on it's plans a little.

Also how should I envision a MPA dual rolling as a tanker? Are they going to do some sort of ro-ro mission thing or something?
 

swerve

Super Moderator
Perhaps if things had been more positive for the C-Series when Saab started the Swordfish, the selected platform could have been the A220 instead of the Global. This might have been a better bone for the GoC to throw at Bombardier instead of buckets of cash for nothing and the RCAF might have had a faster Aurora replacement.
There is one significant difference between the SAAB Swordfish proposal & the P-8 (& P-3, P-1, etc.): no weapons bay. It's a lower impact modification, but it's limiting, I think. Weapons all have to be carried externally. I expect the Canadian govt. would have wanted a weapons bay, & that would make a C-series MPA more expensive to develop, making it considerably less attractive to Canada for a launch order. It'd have been an orphan if nobody else bought it. Airbus (one of the big two) modifying one of their own airliners for France & Germany is a bit different from Bombardier & SAAB doing something for Canada. Bigger scale at every level, which is reassuring for buyers.

SAAB can offer the Swordfish system on smaller airframes with customers trusting them to deliver because they have a record of success in fitting combat systems & sensors to civil aircraft. But SAAB's not modified any airliners to have weapons bays.
 

kato

The Bunker Group
Verified Defense Pro
From German Parliament DS 19/18481, dated April 2020:

Procurement of ships officially in planning phase for the navy
  • 1st flotilla :
    • replacement of A404 tenders (6 ships to be procured by 2029)
    • replacement of M332 minehunters (11 ships to be procured by 2027)
    • replacement of A423 "fleet service boats" / ELINT ships (3 ships to be procured by ca 2025)
  • 2nd flotilla :
    • replacement of F124 AAW frigates (by F127) (for procurement in 2030s)
    • replacement of A702 fleet tankers (by A707) (2 ships to be procured by 2024)
  • general :
    • replacement of multi-purpose and training ships
That's the projects not in procurement phase yet and thus not yet underlaid with funding; the new A707 tankers are the furthest along, and will probably enter procurement phase next year. In general planning foresees considerably larger ships in all the above fields compared to current classes.

The only planned procurement that is in procurement phase but with no contract signed yet is for U212 NG (two to be procured by 2026). Ships in procurement phase with signed contracts and construction started for delivery before 2030 are MKS180 (four ships plus two options) and K130 Batch 2 (five ships).

Notably not mentioned is a project of new combat boats for the Seebataillon naval infantry. This is basically a long-term conundrum going back and forth since ca 2015. While there's quite some lobbying in favor of such (for around 8-15 boats similar to CB90) the Navy maintains the position that there is no "statement of lack of current capability" and no functional requirements definition for this.
 

kato

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The multipurpose ships - first half - to be replaced will likely be financed from the Corona Aid package the government signed off last month that includes one billion euro for a "fleet renewal of public authorities".

Planned replacement for the Ministry of Defense is for the two multi-purpose 500-ton Stollergrund class ships Y864 Mittelgrund and Y866 Breitgrund (in service since the late 80s) and the older trials boat Y838 Wilhelm Pullwer (in service since 1967). Intended investment about 46 million Euro for three new ships.

The ships are assigned to WTD71, the weapons-research "Technical Center for Ships and Naval Weapons" of the Navy, and are manned by civilian crews. There's plans to replace the larger 1000-ton Schwedeneck class of three ships at WTD71 as well within the next few years - for about 137 million, although that's not proceeded far enough to fall into the current stimulus package. There were previously considerations to outsource WTD71's fleet to external contractors instead, mostly when FDP was still a part of the government.
 

kato

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P.S. to above post:

Where the rest of that billion will likely go to in civilian vessels somewhat relevant to naval matters - as in vessels that in some other countries might belong to the Navy:
  • buying a sixth coastal patrol boat for the coast guard / federal police, no price stated (current class for that is 21m length; two of these have been deployed with Frontex in the Aegaean Sea since 2016, since 2019 reduced to one - the new boat is bought specifically for Frontex)
  • replacing a large multipurpose vessel for the coast guard / WSV for 195 million Euro (5,000+ ton tug/firefighting/oil-recovery/icebreaker/buoy-tender/police vessel with helo deck; LNG-powered; two vessels already ordered 2019, being built by Abeking & Rasmussen, with this third as an option of that contract - replacing the three ships of the main fleet for the Central Command for Maritime Emergencies for the North Sea)
  • another smaller multipurpose vessel for the coast guard / WSV for 52 million Euro (replacing two Navy-operated oil recovery vessels being retired 2020/21, haven't really found anything beyond that)
  • a buoy tender for the coast guard / WSV for 25 million Euro (nominally replacing a buoy tender retired in 2012, although with what looks like something bigger than the 580-ton ship that replaced a second similar buoy tender back then)
  • buying an additional dredger for 95 million Euro for WSV (WSV operates 25% of dredging capacity for German seaports inhouse instead of commercially contracting for it; their current single 15,000-ton dredger being replaced is stationed next to Navy 2nd Flotilla Base Wilhelmshaven; new ship is basically a second buy of a dredger from Pella Sietas (same price), with another one already ordered in 2016 planned to be stationed on the Elbe delta for maintenance once it is dredged deeper)
  • replacement of all WSV-owned 45-ton-payload class small ferries for crossing the Kiel canal for about 82 million Euro (first three bought in 2018, this would cover the other 11, replacing ships from the 1950s and 60s; relevant insofar as the Kiel canal is a major route for the German Navy since it was built 125 years ago)
WSV is the Federal Waterways Administration. Its ocean-going ships are integrated in the German Coast Guard (with the ships wearing coast guard livery) alongside ships of the Federal Police, Federal Customs Agency and other agencies.

Realistically the above is mostly a stimulus package to keep the smaller German shipyards afloat with government contracts.

Other big-ticket replacements were already funded beforehand and are as such not covered by the stimulus package. This notably includes a replacement for the 17,300-ton antarctic supply vessel Polarstern II (650 million), the 4,800-ton science vessel Meteor III (160 million) and three new large 3,600-ton hydrographic survey vessels for BSH (for 350 million altogether, first one being delivered by Fassmer in September - the other two are not ordered yet, but funded).
 
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kato

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  • another smaller multipurpose vessel for the coast guard / WSV for 52 million Euro
  • a buoy tender for the coast guard / WSV for 25 million Euro
Found it, since this was bugging me for lack of information:

This is actually a replacement for the 49m coastal buoy tender SZS Gustav Meyer built in 1967. SZS Gustav Meyer is stationed in Emden, and one of four buoy tenders that are fully assigned to the Central Command for Maritime Emergencies, carry out some law enforcement duties and wear the "Küstenwache" stripes on the side.

Unlike other "non-assigned" coastal buoy tenders with WSV it has a NBC citadel and is equipped for firefighting; the three other buoy tenders with the same functionality were replaced in 2013 (with Fassmer BL44, retaining that capability). The planned replacement for SZS Gustav Meyer - turning it into a multipurpose vessel instead - would add modular oil recovery equipment on top, which would also likely make it a bit bigger. And pricier.

It basically fills a long-term requirement to extend coverage of emergency response services to the western end of the German North Sea Coast. Like with most Coastguard ships the project had been pushed back a couple years, it's nominally been around since 2010. The retirement of the Navy's oil recovery vessels seems to be used as a spark plug for procuring it now.

The second ship would likely replace SZS Gustav Meyer in its buoy-tending role as well as possibly replace one of the two other small buoy tenders at WSA Emden - one of them, a beachable GRP-hulled 20m small buoy tender for the Wattenmeer, was built in 1978. The three ships available to WSA Emden service about 400 buoy positions and 50 fixed navigation aids within the Ems estuary and around the islands of the western German Wattenmeer, and apparently they've complained in past years that even in regular operations they have problems keeping that up if one of the ships is in maintenance.
 
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kato

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Construction of the 8th K130 corvette, the future FGS Karlsruhe, started yesterday.

It's the first one where GNY Kiel is building the front half of a K130. #6 and #7 were built by Lürssen Bremen, #8 to #10 will be built at GNY Kiel. Lürssen Peene-Werft Wolgast is building all rear halfs, assembly and final outfit occurs at Lürssen B+V Hamburg. #6 is currently in final outfitting.
 
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