Thales to provide mission and combat systems for four future MKS 180 class frigates of German Navy

According to a press release published on November 18, 2020, Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding from Netherlands and French Company Thales signed on November 17, 2020, the contract for the delivery and full integration of Thales’s Mission and Combat System for the four MKS 180 class frigates contracted by the German Navy. The system will be designed by Damen and completely built by German shipyards, under Damen’s project management.
Follow Navy Recognition on Google News at this link

Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Artist’s Rendering of an MKS 180 frigate being built for the German Navy. (Picture source Thales)

Valued at €1.5B, the contract illustrates Thales’s leading position in global naval integration. It will be executed by Thales’s naval Centers of Excellence in Hengelo (the Netherlands), Kiel, and Wilhelmshaven (Germany) in cooperation with a substantial number of German subcontractors.

Underpinning this contract is the proven cooperation of German and Dutch naval industries, including numerous joint opportunities for Damen and Thales in the Netherlands to innovate within naval shipbuilding projects, often with the participation of the Netherlands’ Ministry of Defence. The project underscores Damen’s and Thales’s ambition to build further cooperation with shipyards and partnering industries in high-end European naval programs.

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.

AWWS is a cutting-edge warfare suite that helps the ship crews to counter and neutralize complex saturation attacks by continuously analyzing and optimizing the tactical environment and deployment of resources. AWWS will be combined with APAR* Bl2, the evolved version of Thales’s proven AESA* multifunction radar. In 2019, Thales signed an AWWS development contract for the new M-frigates for the Belgian and Dutch Navies.

In the past years, Thales has been awarded several large contracts by European NATO navies, thanks to innovative solutions and its proven reliability as an industrial partner. These contracts have made Thales the de facto naval combat system partner of NATO.

The MKS 180 (Mehrzweckkampfschiff 180) is a new generation of frigate class that will replace the Brandenburg class frigates in service with the German Navy. The first ship of the MKS 180 class will be operational in 2028. The entire program will run for over ten years.

The MKS 180 multi-purpose ship is expected to be configured using mission modules to fight a wide variety of targets such as airborne threats, surface ships, submarines as well as providing support for shore deployments. She will have a length of 155 meters with a displacement of up to 9,000 tons. With a standard crew of 110 sailors and up to 70 additional crew members, it will be the largest combat ship in service with the German Navy.

The MKS 180 frigate will be armed with medium and short air defense missile systems, long-range anti-ship missiles. It will have a 127 mm main gun able to fire extended-range ammunition as well as automatic cannons and machine gun for its self-protection.