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German Navy MKS 180 upgrades to be revealed in November 2011

Contributor: Kim Vigila, Offshore Patrol Vessels Team, Defence IQ

Updates on the MKS180 (“Mehrzweckkampfschiff” – Multi-Purpose Surface Combatant) project’s progress will be presented by the German Federal Office of Defense Technology and Procurement (BWB) this September 2011 at an annual naval meeting taking place in Hamburg, Germany.

The contract award for the definition of the MKS180 (formerly K131) product lifecycle management concept to the German company ESG Elektroniksystem- und Logistik-GmbH last month supports the objective to optimise the project management throughout its entire lifecycle, including analysis, project definition, service introduction and operation. ESG is slated to finish upgrades later this year and has not commented on how much the contract is worth.

K131 (now MKS 180) upgrades have been awarded to ESG and Logistik-GmbH

By the end of November 2011, ESG is to present the PLM concept and upgrades, which have, up this point, been kept under wraps.

The anticipation for the German Navy’s new multi-purpose vessel comes during a time of great activity within the offshore patrol market, with the recent launches of the Gowind OPV for the French Navy, the Tor 994 in June as part of the Royal Thai Navy’s patrol fleet modernisation, and the Kenyan Navy’s refurbishment of its Nyayo and Umoja OPVs.

“The OPV, the light frigate, corvette, however you want characterise it, is actually one of the key building blocks of the navy,” comments Vice Admiral Sir Anthony Dymock, during an interview with Defence IQ.  “It’s part of your personnel development; it’s how you deliver early command; early ability to operate independently. But also it provides, as far as a key naval capability, presence.”

Global interest in developing these patrol ships highlights the fact that, while the types of sea security issues such as anti-piracy, counter-narcotics, fishery protection and NATO support roles may vary across regions, the requirement for dealing with these issues is a mutual priority, given the huge socio-economic cost of piracy, smuggling and terrorism.

Although complete details of BWB’s address have not been publicly distributed, it is expected that they will provide an overview of the requirement framework and discuss the demands of international expeditionary mission and littoral defence.

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