The fundamental principle of NATO as a defense alliance is burden-sharing. Exactly 70 years ago, a number of states decided to divide the task of securing peace in the world between several shoulders. Germany joined the so-called North Atlantic Treaty in 1955 – and in retrospect this can be seen as a favorable, wise and far-sighted political decision. Never before in history has our country experienced such a long lasting period of peace. But today of all days, in times of many conflicts and crises in the world, Germany is struggling to bear the burdens of security with determination: the Bundeswehr lacks the equipment to be able to fully meet its alliance obligations.
With the construction of the multi-purpose warship 180, or “MKS 180” for short, Germany now has the opportunity to fundamentally modernize at least its navy and to arm it for current and future threats. In terms of variability and operational capability, the MKS 180 clearly surpasses the ships already in the service of the German Navy. The decision to award the contract for the largest naval project of the German post-war period is to be made before the end of this year.
But what makes this ship so special? The MKS 180 will be able to defeat targets in the air, on land as well as above and under water. Whether monitoring sea areas, combating piracy, humanitarian aid, enforcing arms embargoes or supporting special forces and evacuation operations – the new ship will be designed for all these tasks. A major innovation will be expand-ability. By equipping the MKS 180 with mission modules, for example for submarine hunting or mine defense, it can be adapted at any time to different operational tasks. In addition, the MKS 180 will be able to operate continuously for up to two years in a single operational area.