The F-126 (MKS-180) Class Frigate


In June 2020, a contract was signed between the Netherlands-based DAMEN Naval and the German Army for the construction of 4+2 (option) MKS-180 (Mehrzweckkampfschiff) multi-purpose combat ships. Initially named “MKS-180,” the frigate project was later changed to “F-126.” The F-126 class is intended to replace the F-123 Brandenburg class frigates that entered service between 1994 and 1996.

The F-126 (MKS-180) Class Frigate

The F-126 will be a formidable vessel, with a displacement of over 10,000 tons and a length of over 166 meters (heavier and longer than the American Arleigh Burke class destroyers). It will be controlled by a fully digital control system and a crew of 114. Additionally, the frigate will have the capacity to carry 84 special forces, signal intelligence personnel, and other mission-specific personnel.

The F-126 (MKS-180) Class Frigate

Damen, the design company, promises that the F-126 will be able to operate continuously for two years (at least 5,000 hours/209 days per year) with a crew rotation every four months, requiring minimal maintenance, and capable of performing missions in all latitudes. The frigate will be equipped with power systems that have low fuel consumption, carbon emissions, and compatibility with sustainable energy sources.

The F-126 (MKS-180) Class Frigate

The F-126 class frigates will be designed by Dutch Damen but produced in Germany at the Blohm+Voss shipyards in Hamburg, Kiel, and Walgust. The production of the first vessel is expected to start in 2023, lay down in 2024, and enter service in 2028. The delivery of all four frigates is expected to be completed by 2031, and they are planned to have an economic service life of 30 years. Thales Nederland will be responsible for developing all technical systems and communication management systems for the frigates.

The F-126 (MKS-180) Class Frigate
Mission Types of F-126 (MKS-180) Class Frigate
Air Defense Warfare
Surface Warfare
Anti-Submarine Warfare
Signal Intelligence
Special Forces Operations
Asymmetric Warfare
Humanitarian Aid Operations (Transportation and Evacuation)
The F-126 (MKS-180) Class Frigate
General Specifications of F-126 Class Frigate:
BuildersDamen Group/Blohm + Voss/Lürssen/German Naval Yards
Length 166 m
Width21.7 m
Displacement+10,550 tons
Range5,000 nautical miles (9,260 km)
Endurance21 days without replenishment
Crew114 (expandable to 198 with additional personnel)
Propulsion SystemCODLAD (Combined Diesel-Electric and Diesel), 2 MAN-produced 12,000 kW diesel engines, 2 4,000 kW electric motors, 4 3,000 kWE generators
Technical Systems1 Hensoldt TRS-4D NR multifunction surveillance radar, 1 Thales X-band APAR multifunctional fire control radar, 1 active/passive low-frequency towed sonar, Thales Mirador Mk2 and Gatekeeper electro-optical surveillance systems, Rohde & Schwarz KORA 40 communication, radar, electronic support, and signal intelligence system
Aircraft2x NH-90 (10-ton class) helicopters and 1x Skeldar V-200 drones
Additional VehiclesUp to 3 boats with 12-meter rigid hulls and up to 10 containers
The F-126 (MKS-180) Class Frigate
Weapon Systems on the F-126 Class Frigate:
Main Gun1x Leonardo-produced 127/64 mm (Vulcano guided munition-capable) main gun
Other Guns2x MLG-27 27 mm guns
2x LIONFISH 12.7 mm guns2
Anti-Ship Missiles8x Kongsberg NSM Block 1 (with a range of 200 km) anti-ship missiles
Air Defence Systems16x Mk-41 VLS with 64x ESSM Block 2B missiles
Point Defence Missile Systems2x RIM-116 RAM CIWS
The F-126 (MKS-180) Class Frigate

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