The German Navy frigate “Sachsen-Anhalt” passing the Kaiser Wilhelm Bridge
The German Navy frigate “Sachsen-Anhalt” passing the Kaiser Wilhelm Bridge

German Navy Takes Delivery of F125 Baden-Württemberg-class Frigate Sachsen-Anhalt (F224)

The “Sachsen-Anhalt” is the third of a total of four frigates, which the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) has accepted from ARGE F125. The Arbeitsgemeinschaft (ARGE) F125 is a consortium formed by thyssenkrupp Marine Systems GmbH and Lürssen Werft GmbH & Co. KG. She is part of the Baden-Württemberg class are used to replace the Bremen class. Like all class F125 frigates, the “Sachsen-Anhalt” will in future be assigned to Frigate Squadron 4 based in Wilhelmshaven.

A huge spectrum of tasks is waiting for the frigate: The class F125 ships shall not only be employed in the area of conventional national and collective defense, but above all in the field of conflict prevention and crisis management. In addition, the frigates shall also be employed in response and stabilization operations at the international level. The frigates are capable of engaging targets at sea as well as ashore, and they feature air defense systems. They can remain in their area of operations for a period of up to two years.

Handover of the signed documents from Patrick Buggenthin, program manager (left) to Matthias Rohde, chair of the acceptance committee (Photo by ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems)

The F125 Baden-Württemberg-class frigates are a series of frigates of the German Navy, which were designed and constructed by ARGE F125, a joint-venture of Thyssen-Krupp and Lürssen. The Baden-Württemberg class have the highest displacement of any class of frigate worldwide. They are to replace the Bremen class. They are primarily designed for low and medium intensity maritime stabilization operations, where they are supposed to provide sea-to-land tactical fire support, asymmetric threat control at sea and support of special forces.

Major design goals are reduced radar, infrared and acoustic signatures (stealth technology), something that was introduced to the German Navy with the Brandenburg-class frigates and was further developed with the Sachsen-class frigates and Braunschweig-class corvettes. Other important requirements are long maintenance periods: It should be possible to deploy Baden-Württemberg-class frigates for up to two years away from homeports with an average sea operation time of more than 5,000 hours per year (that’s nearly 60%) which includes operation under tropical conditions.

The German Navy frigate “Sachsen-Anhalt” making its first entry into its future home port of Wilhelmshaven. (Photo by Bundeswehr/Brakensiek)