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Keel laid for German Navy's third F125 frigate

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An artistic illustration of F125 frigate. A ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems photo

HAMBURG (BNS): German shipbuilder ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems has laid down the keel for the third Type 125 class multi-mission frigate for the German Navy last week.

The keel laying ceremony, held at the company's Hamburg facility on June 4, was attended by representatives from politics, defence and industry and marked an important milestone in the construction of the warship.

The first frigate of the class was christened "Baden-Württemberg" in December 2013 and was undocked as planned in spring 2014.

Delivery to the German Navy is scheduled for November 2016, the shipbuilder said.

The other frigates are being built one after the other, with the last of the four ships due for delivery in 2019.

The contract is worth around two billion euros in total, it said.

Germany, in 2007, had awarded a contract to the ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems-led ARGE F125 industrial consortium to build four F125 frigates for its Navy.

The multi-mission warships are designed to carry out a range of roles, including peace-keeping missions, counter-terrorism roles and network-centric operations. They will be able to defend themselves against both conventional as well as asymmetric threats.

The ships are capable of remaining at sea for 24 months and will be the first to implement the intensive use principle, i.e. significantly enhanced availability in the area of operation. This capability is supported by a reduced crew size and a two-crew strategy under which the crew can be swapped out on location.

The new frigates are set to replace the F122 Bremen class frigates operated by the German Navy.

According to the German Navy, the F125 would be armed with land attack systems and air warfare point-defence equipment but would not be equipped with conventional on-board sonar but instead would have diver and swimmer detection sonar.

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