Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding and 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. Valued at €1.5B, the contract illustrates Thales’s leading position in naval global 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. The system will be designed by Damen and completely built by German shipyards, under Damen’s project management.
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. 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.
The project underscores Damen’s and Thales’s ambition to build further cooperation with shipyards and partnering industries in high-end European naval programmes. AWWS is a cutting-edge warfare suite that helps the ship crews to counter and neutralise complex saturation attacks by continuously analysing and optimising 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. One of the largest ever in Thales’s history, this contract includes the comprehensive Tacticos Combat Management System and the AWWS (Above Water Warfare System) Fire Control Cluster. These contracts have made Thales the de facto naval combat system partner of NATO. The first ship of the MKS 180 class will be operational in 2028. The entire programme will run for over ten years. A key milestone for the development of European defence industry, strengthening Thales’ leading position in naval integration worldwide.