edited by Curtis Hand from release
The Friedrich Lürssen shipyard in Bremen was commissioned to build the two new fuel transporters for the German Navy. The new units, class designation 707, are to replace the aging “Rhön” and “Spessart” from 2024. Lürssen claims to be working with Meyer Werft on the construction. The Rostock Neptun shipyard is to carry the lion’s share of the programme.
The future floating filling stations of the Navy stand out clearly from their predecessors “Rhön” and “Spessart” (class 704) both visually and in terms of performance. They not only comply with the applicable directives (IMO, EU) that tankers must have a double hull. They also meet the NATO requirement for ABC suitability. According to the Lürssen shipyard, their loading volume should be around 12,000 cubic meters of aviation and diesel fuel. Up to three parallel refueling at sea should be feasible. In addition, the ships would offer the possibility of placing modularly combinable container units, for example workshops or spare parts stores.
According to Tim Wagner, Managing Director of Fr. Lürssen Werft GmbH & Co. KG (photo left), the class 707 fuel suppliers will also comply with current environmental standards with a ballast water treatment system and modern exhaust gas aftertreatment to reduce emissions in accordance with IMO Tier III.
Compared to the originally formulated military requirements, the parameters have been changed significantly in two positions. The previously required speed of 20 knots has now become a maximum of 18 knots. The draft increases to 9.5 meters. This made it possible to orientate themselves towards more common designs.
On the other hand, the navy now has to deal with the stationing of the ships. The military requirement so far stipulated that the fuel transporters should remain at a draft of eight meters in order to avoid deepening the port at the Wilhelmshaven naval base.
After approval by the budget committee of the German Bundestag on June 23, 2021, the financial requirements for the two utilities suppliers are given as 914 million euros.
Comparable units have unit costs of approx. 140 million euros (the Norwegian “Maud”) or approx. 210 million euros (“Tide” class of the Royal Navy).