New ships for the Navy

Construction of the first F126 frigate has started in Wolgast

Construction of the first F126 frigate has started in Wolgast

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On December 5, 2023, construction started in Wolgast on the first class F126 frigate for the German Navy. After the successful conclusion of the development phase, the construction phase now begins.

Two women and two men in white protective helmets behind a board with red switches.

Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister of Defense, Siemtje Möller (second from right), Minister-President of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Manuela Schwesig and two contractor representatives after the symbolic start of construction

DAMEN Naval/Felix Matthies

For the time being, four frigates are being procured, with the option of two further units. The project has a budget in the medium single-digit billions.

Large-scale project begins as planned

The construction contract was concluded in June 2020 between the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBwBundesamt für Ausrüstung, Informationstechnik und Nutzung der Bundeswehr) in Koblenz and Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding as prime contractor. The first ship will probably be handed over to the Bundeswehr in 2028.

A grey-red ship's model in a glass vitrine.

The new frigate will sail the seven seas probably from 2028


Commodore Andreas C., head of the Sea Directorate at BAAINBwBundesamt für Ausrüstung, Informationstechnik und Nutzung der Bundeswehr, was present as representative of the agency. He emphasized the importance of the new frigates for the German Navy: “Project F126 was conceived as a procurement project with a close and intensive cooperation between customer and contractor. I am pleased to find that this cooperative approach with comprehensive support of the project on BAAINBwBundesamt für Ausrüstung, Informationstechnik und Nutzung der Bundeswehr’s side meant that all challenges so far could be overcome and that the start of construction of the F126 is on schedule.”

Built for worldwide missions

The frigates will be capable of worldwide, comprehensive three-dimensional naval warfare. This means they will be able to engage targets under water, on the water and in the air.

Some of their most important tasks will be sea surveillance operations, the implementation of embargos, special forces support and evacuation operations.

A novelty for the German Navy is the use of so-called mission modules. These mean that the ships will receive standardized equipment and personnel packages which may be adapted to the specific operational scenario.

A turquoise gadget in a big factory hall starts welding.

Off we go! - Welding activities begin on the new ship


The frigates will be built entirely in Germany. Wolgast, Kiel and Hamburg do a shipbuilding workshare for this project. In this way, Germany maintains and secures important naval key technologies for surface vessels.