Blohm + Voss / Blohm und Voss
Blohm + Voss motor yachts are some of the finest, most sophisticated vessels afloat. Their engineering features are trailblazers: Flight decks with twin helicopter hangers. Retractable transoms for the wet docking and dry berthing of large tenders and submarines. Versatile, impressively powerful CODAG-WARP propulsion units for low, economic trolling speeds and fast re-locatings...this short list can easily lengthened. The first true yacht Blohm + Voss delivered was built for the German Emperor already in 1872. He had ordered the HOHENZOLLERN, a 250 ft paddle wheeler. In the early 1900s, the Emperor became a repeat client with the METEOR IV and METEOR V, two of the most stunning high performance sailing yachts ever.
The Blohm and Voss shipyard developed the MEKO corvette and frigate system. This system involves the modularization of a great number of ship subsystems that can be tailored to an individual ship's requirements. This capability permits a compressed construction schedule, maximization of in-shop production, and commonality across different ship classes. Blohm and Voss reported a 5 percent reduction in construction costs over traditional methods and claimed reduced life cycle costs because modular payloads permit easier and, therefore, less expensive modernization. This claim existed despite only partial modularization (primarily in combat systems) and a focus on modularization for rapid reconfiguration of base designs to attract foreign military sales, vice palletization for ease of construction and cost savings.
Blohm + Voss produced a series of fine ship designs, from the F124 Saschen class advanced air defense frigate and the new F125 expeditionary frigate. Of these, only the various MEKO OPV/ corvette/ frigate options enjoyed export success. Blohm + Voss contracted and delivered over 60 Naval combatants for 11 Navies worldwide. These included the German Frigate F124, which was followed by five German Corvettes Type K130, for which the contract was signed in December 2001. After 25 years of operation, the Meko design concept was still the most advanced widely applied modular ship design in the world. Many Blohm + Voss Meko vessels have been equipped with Lockheed Martin equipment such as Vertical Launching Systems, MK 41.
Blohm and Voss (B&V) has been containerizing weapons and other ship components for a number of years. The flexibility of its corvette and frigate designs accommodates the desires of several navies for different combat systems. In 1991, B&V delivered its first frigate with a data bus replacing conventional point-to-point wiring for weapon and electronic systems. This ship was constructed in 32 months. B&V claims that modularization reduced the time from contract award to commissioning from about 72 to 48 months. Attendant with this decreased construction time, however, was an increase in the quantity of connections at the module interfacesand in the complexity of the ship's service systems (air conditioning plants, firepumps, and so forth) and the ship's structure.
Blohm + Voss's MEKO ship platforms are designed specifically for the varied deployment of standardized modules (weapons, electronics and the ship's technical equipment) which, in addition, are connected with the power supply, the air-conditioning and ventilation system and the data network for example, via standardized interfaces. All the components needed to run a specific system are accommodated in a single module.
Depending upon the particular task they are required to perform, a distinction is made between weapons, electronics and the ship's technical modules. Containers, pallets and mast modules are installed during the construction phase. Modularity allows a wide range of choice in the selection of the on-board systems, whether it be with regard to the integration of customer supplied systems or the use of products that the customer already has in service from various manufacturers.
By simultaneously building the ship's platform at a shipyard and the modules at the suppliers' premises, a significant savings in both time and cost can be achieved. The modular construction principle also reduces the costs of maintaining and modernizing the vessels. Availability and readiness for action are thus improved.
On 14 April 2010 Abu Dhabi MAR, the international shipbuilding group based in Abu Dhabi, and ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) signed a contract for the sale of Blohm + Voss to Abu Dhabi MAR. The two companies had already signed a memorandum of understanding on this in October 2009. The contract included the acquisition of Blohm + Voss Shipyards in Hamburg and the civil shipbuilding facilities of the former HDW Gaarden including employees in Kiel. Abu Dhabi MAR also acquired an 80% stake in each of Blohm + Voss Repair and Blohm + Voss Industries, both of Hamburg. The parties also agreed on the formation of a 50:50 strategic partnership for the design and program management of naval vessels, with TKMS retaining a lead role in all projects with the German Navy and NATO partners, while Abu Dhabi MAR Group will be responsible for the Middle East and North Africa.
Abu Dhabi MAR, a holding company based in Abu Dhabi, is a fast-growing international shipbuilding group. The company has capacities for the construction of naval ships and civil ships up to a length of 200 meters. The holding company is jointly owned by the Al Ain International Group (70%) and Privinvest (30%). H.E. Ahmad Darwish Al Marar is Chairman of the Abu Dhabi MAR Group and Iskandar Safa its Managing Director. The company had orders in hand of more than 1 billion euros.
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