The Brandenburg Type 123 Class frigates were ordered in June 1989 to replace the Hamburg class. The frigates are primarily tasked with anti-submarine operations, but they also contribute to anti-air defence, the tactical command of group forces and surface operations. The ships form part of the Wilhelmshaven-based 6th frigate squadron.The all-steel ship has stealth features, extra space for Task Group personnel, and fin stabilisers. It is designed to carry two AgustaWestland Sea Lynx Mk 88 helicopters and a rigid inflatable boat for boarding operations.
In addition, the Brandenburg Type F123 ship design features improved radar signatures, the inclusion of growth potential, the integration of power boosting sensors and anti-aircraft systems, improved installation and removal routes on board taking into account operational experience gained with the MEKO export frigates and other frigates in service with the German Navy.
In the Brandenburg Type 123 Class frigates field of damage control and operational equipment, there is a number of innovations when compared to previous frigates. For the purposes of survivability, the number of damage control areas has been doubled to four. The ventilation, fire fighting and damage control system have been upgraded and designed as independent systems in accordance with MEKO Mod. 3.
The ship is armed with four Aerospatiale Exocet MM38 surface-to-surface missiles, 16 Nato Sea Sparrow surface- to-air missiles with a Lockheed Martin Mk-41 Mod-3 vertical launch system, two 21-cell RAM launchers one Otobreda 76mm/62 Mk- 75 main gun, two Rheinmetall 20mm Rh 202 guns; and 4-324mm Mk-32 Mod-9 (2 twin) anti-submarine torpedo tubes. Two Otobreda SCLAR decoys, chaff, IR flares, intercepts and jammers act as countermeasures.
The order for the building of four Class 123 frigates was placed by the German Ministry of Defence once it had been demonstrated that, with the Blohm + Voss modular method of construction, Consortium "F123" was capable of meeting the BWB demands basically formulated in the following tex.