Damen equips German F126 frigates with Rolls Royce generators

BERLIN ($1=0.99 Euros) — 16 Rolls Royce naval diesel generators will be delivered to the German F126 frigates. This is clear from a statement from the Damen company. Damen is a Dutch shipyard that is supposed to equip the German F126 frigates. The first of the four F126 frigates ordered is expected to arrive in Frankfurt in 2028. F126s are built in the German shipyards of Wolgast, Kiel, and Hamburg.

Damen equips German F126 frigates with Rolls Royce generators
Photo credit: DefenceTurk.net

The choice of Rolls Royce is a bit strange, are the comments in German naval circles. It turns out that Rolls Royce for the first time in its history will equip German frigates. Damen, however, defended their decision, saying that the Rolls Royce MTU is a high-tech solution strongly oriented towards the naval sector. Damen also emphasized in their defense that for years Rolls Royce has been the preferred supplier of generators worldwide for ships of the same class as the German F126 frigates.

F126’s generators and engines

The selected generators are model MTU4000. Each F126 frigate will receive four generators of this type. In addition to the delivery, Rolls Royce will also have to guarantee the logistical support of its generators. Each set of four MTU4000s is expected to provide lower fuel costs as well as variable speed capability for the frigates.

It became clear which engines will drive the German frigates. These will be German MAN 32/44CR engines from the manufacturer MAN Energy Solutions. A total of eight engines [two for each frigate] will be delivered to Damen for integration into the frigates. The MAN 32/44CR is an extremely robust engine that has proven itself in many demanding applications, says German company MAN Energy Solutions. The engines should be delivered in 2024. Each pair of engines should guarantee the frigates a speed of 26 knots.

Vulcano naval system

In 2022, part of the armament that the F126 frigates of the German Navy will receive became clear. The Leonardo OTO 127/64 LightWeight [LW] Vulcano naval defense systems were selected by Damen to equip F126s.

The OTO 127/64 LW Vulcano naval gun is an advanced and fully digitalized system that can provide continuous support to operators and the onboard battle management system in calculating firing decisions during mission planning.

German frigates get digitized OTO 127/64 LW Vulcano naval gun
Photo credit: seaforces.org

The Oto 127/64 naval cannon can use both standard 127 mm ammunition and the two Vulcano 127 mm ammunition variants: Guided Long Range [GLR] and Ballistic Extended Range [BER]. The system increases the fire capacity of the naval unit to 85 km while maintaining high accuracy.


In February Damen Naval has signed a contract with Lockheed Martin for MK 41 Vertical Launch System [VLS] in support of the project for the German F126s. Thus, Lockheed Martin will support the construction of new frigates built for the German navy. The contract includes the production and supply of 2 8-cell MK 41 VLS Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile [ESSM] Block 2 modules, as well as engineering studies and ancillary equipment for 4 ships.

Damen Naval is familiar with the MK 41 VLS system used in the design of the Dutch Air Defense and Command Frigate [ADCF] and various other export projects. Both the German and Royal Navy use this system. It also has more than 25 years of history with the German navy, including the MK 41 VLS system, F123 Brandenburg, and F124 Sachsen frigate projects.

The Any Weapon / Any Cell design allows the MK 41 VLS system to launch any integrated missile, providing maximum flexibility. With more than 14,000 deployed on more than 150 ships worldwide, the MK 41 VLS cage is proven by 4,500 operational / test fires and more than 99 percent operational availability.

German frigates F126 will receive 8-cell MK 41 VLS ESSM Block 2
Photo credit: Naval News

With this system, the F126 frigate will be able to operate in the most complex maritime operational areas, along with other systems and sensors onboard.


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