31 août 2018 | International, Naval

German shipbuilders push for government favor against European rivals

By: 

COLOGNE, Germany – German shipbuilding advocates are pressing the government to insulate the military surface ship sector from international competition in a bid to boost the industry segment here.

At issue are thousands of jobs in northern Germany, plus, proponents contend, a capability sector so critical to national security that it deserves an exemption from European acquisition requirements.

The campaign is expected to pick up steam as a key naval program, the MKS-180 multirole frigate, proceeds toward a second call for offers by the German Ministry of Defense later this year. Up for grabs is a $4 billion deal to build an initial batch of four ships.

The two contenders are a Dutch-led team headed by Damen Shipyards and one led by German Naval Yards Kiel, which is owned by a French-Lebanese investor. Both bids have German firms as partners: Lürssen's subsidiary Blohm+Voss in the case of Damen, and ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems with GNYK.

Daniel Günther, the minister-president of Germany's northernmost state Schleswig-Holstein, which includes the city of Kiel, was the latest to demand special treatment for German shipyards.

Günther told the German press agency DPA he is rooting for the German Naval Yards bid because his state, which hosts both shipyards comprising the team, stands to benefit from the work. “It's important for me that the contract goes to Schleswig-Holstein, and that's why I use all opportunities to lobby for it in Berlin – though it's still on the companies to put together a good offer,” he was quoted as telling the German press agency DPA.

Full article: https://www.defensenews.com/global/europe/2018/08/30/german-shipbuilders-push-for-government-favor-against-european-rivals

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