The second of four German Navy F125 frigates, FGS Nordrhein-Westfalen (F223), has entered service in a ceremony in Wilhelmshaven on June 10. Due to the current corona pandemic, the ceremony took place on a small scale.
The ship will become part of the 4th frigate squadron, one of the units of the Einsatzflottille 2, and will be based at the naval base in Wilhelmshaven.
With their highly complex systems and around 28,000 sensors, the completely redesigned F125 class ships feature a very high degree of automation, making it possible to halve the crew size compared to previous frigate classes. The ships can remain in their operational area for up to two years. This will considerably reduce the number of otherwise very long transit journeys. The F125 “Nordrhein-Westfalen” successfully implements the intensive use concept, just like the “Baden-Württemberg”, which has been in service since June 2019.
In addition to the traditional tasks of national and alliance defence, the ships are designed for conflict prevention and crisis management as well as for intervention and stabilization operations on an international scale. Alongside their capability to engage targets on land and water, they also have air defence systems and helicopters specially equipped for submarine hunting.
The contract for the construction of the four frigates entered into force in June 2007. This was followed by the concept, design and detailed construction phase.
Around 90 percent of the highly complex systems on board the F125 were newly developed specifically for this type of ship.
After the “Baden-Württemberg” and the “Nordrhein-Westfalen”, the “Sachsen-Anhalt” and the “Rheinland-Pfalz” will follow in 2021 according to current plans.