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Thales, Damen partner to build new German frigate

Damen Naval Shipbuilding and Thales signed a €1.5 billion contract for the delivery and full integration of Thales’s Mission and Combat System for the four MKS 180 class frigates. 

Damen Naval Shipbuilding and Thales signed a €1.5 billion contract for the delivery and full integration of Thales’s Mission and Combat System for the four MKS 180 class frigates. 

Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding and Thales signed 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.

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The system will be designed by Damen and completely built by German shipyards, under Damen’s project management.

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

Gerben Edelijn, CEO of Thales Netherlands said, “Winning such a substantial contract within the strict framework of an objective scoring system reinforces our global leading position in high-end naval integration. Thanks to our innovative capabilities, the German Navy will be able to execute both current and future tasks whilst substantially contributing to stability in the operational theatres all over the world.”

Underpinning this contract is the proven co-operation 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 co-operation with shipyards and partnering industries in high-end European naval programs.

Dr Christoph Hoppe, CEO of Thales Germany added, “As a partner in the MKS 180 program, Thales Deutschland not only contributes to a high German value-added share, but also brings many years of experience in European co-operation and proven systems expertise. This program will create new, high-quality jobs in Germany, within an exemplary framework of European defence co-operation. We will also contribute to maintaining the German Navy's operational capability at the highest level within the alliance.”

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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 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.

Patrice Caine, chairman and CEO of Thales, said, “We are very honoured by this notification which further solidifies our long-standing co-operation with the German Navy and Damen. We sincerely thank our customers for their continued trust. This huge contract anchors our position as global leader in high-end naval systems integration. The German Navy will benefit from cutting-edge technological systems thanks to the diversity of talents at Thales.”

The MKS 180 is a resilient, multi-purpose ship designed for long periods at sea, fulfilling a broad range of low-, medium- and high-intensity missions: monitoring maritime areas, reinforcing sea rescue teams and humanitarian aid efforts or supporting special forces in crisis zones.

This adaptability places high demands on the ship’s mission systems in terms of performance, availability, maintainability and ease of use.

Thales is a global high technology leader investing in digital and “deep tech” innovations – connectivity, big data, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and quantum technology – to build a future we can all trust, which is vital to the development of our societies.

The company provides solutions, services and products that help its customers – businesses, organisations and states – in the defence, aeronautics, space, transportation and digital identity and security markets to fulfil their critical missions, by placing humans at the heart of the decision-making process.

With more than 50 years of experience as a provider of naval equipment, systems and services, Thales offers naval forces around the world unrivalled expertise and proven operational benefits.

Thales understands how naval and maritime affairs are evolving today, and leverages those insights to help ensure the success of a broad range of naval missions around the world. Thales air defence, surface defence, anti-submarine warfare and maritime safety and security systems are now in service with more than 50 navies.

Thales, Damen partner to build new German frigate
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