Work is continuing to progress on Germany’s new Type 125 frigates, known as the Baden-Württemberg class. As pictured here, the bow section of the fourth and final unit, the Rheinland-Pfalz, recently was towed from Lüerssen Shipyard in Wolgast, Germany, to join up with the stern section, which was built in Hamburg by ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems. The first-in-class Baden-Württemberg began her initial sea trials on 6 April, and she subsequently tested her propulsion, sensors, and weapon systems while operating in the North, Skagerrak, and Baltic seas. The two remaining units of the class are in varying stages of construction. The second unit, the Nordrhein-Westfalen, was laid down in late 2012, while the third unit, the Sachsen-Anhalt, was christened in March of this year. The 7,200-ton, 490-foot frigates are expected to begin entering service in 2017. They will be armed with Harpoon antiship missiles, Rolling Airframe Missile launchers, and a 5-inch gun, and will can carry up to two helicopters.
By Eric Wertheim