Sebastian Schulte, Bonn - IHS Jane's Defence Weekly
17 October 2016
Germany will buy an additional five K130 type corvettes in 2017 to offset delays to the MKS 180 Multi-Role Combat Ships (MRCSs) programme, the German coalition government announced on 14 October.
"To meet new security needs in the Baltic Sea, in the Mediterranean Sea, and globally, the coalition plans to buy five new corvettes for EUR1.5 billion [USD1.64 billion] for the German Navy," the two rapporteurs for the ruling coalition on the influential parliamentary budget committee, Johannes Kahrs and Eckhard Rehberg, said in a joint statement.
The news follows the German Ministry of Defence (MoD) notifying parliament in early October that the final contract negotiations concerning the planned four MKS 180 MRCSs needed to be extended, delaying the project by six months.
A new EUR1.5 billion budget line for the programme will be added into the 2017 defence budget. It has been suggested that the five ships will be funded by drawing on the MKS 180 budget and an increase of the defence budget. The repurposing of MKS 180 funds towards the new batch of K130s will be introduced into the final reading of the upcoming 2017 budget in November. The first two corvettes are expected to be delivered in 2019, with the remaining three ships to follow in 2023.
The delay does not spell the end of the MKS 180 programme, but means it will be up to the incoming government and new parliament (following the federal elections in late 2017) to re-evaluate the project. IHS Jane's understands that both the German Navy and the MoD
intend to stick with the planned four, plus an optional extra two, MKS 180 ships. The plan to build more K130 corvettes is thus an attempt to both prevent capability gaps resulting from delays to the MKS 180 project and to increase platform numbers at the same time.
Original post: janes
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