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Press releases


Passing of the baton on the Executive Board of thyssenkrupp Marine Systems: Dr. Rolf Wirtz hands over chairmanship to Oliver Burkhard

Dr. Rolf Wirtz handed over the CEO position of thyssenkrupp Marine Systems to Oliver Burkhard on May 01 as planned. Wirtz had informed the segment's Supervisory Board early on in December 2021 of his decision not to extend his expiring contract any further, thus enabling thyssenkrupp to ensure a structured and orderly handover. In an extraordinary meeting on March 18, 2022 the Supervisory Board of thyssenkrupp Marine Systems had appointed its former Chairman Oliver Burkhard as the new CEO of thyssenkrupp Marine Systems.

As CEO of thyssenkrupp Marine System since 2017, Dr. Rolf Wirtz has gradually expanded the company into a systems house and driven forward the integration of ATLAS ELEKTRONIK, of which he was previously CEO. With the consistent digitization of purchasing through design to production, Wirtz has initiated the transformation into Europe's most modern marine company.

Martina Merz, CEO thyssenkrupp AG: "thyssenkrupp and I personally would like to thank Dr. Rolf Wirtz very much for his achievements at the helm of Marine Systems. With a strong team he initiated the turnaround of the company. In addition, orders such as the German-Norwegian submarine project and the Egyptian frigate program were successfully negotiated by our side with him at the helm."

With the largest order in its history, the construction and delivery of six identical Type 212CD submarines for Norway's and Germany's navies, as well as further orders for Israel, Egypt and Brazil, the company has well-filled order books for the coming years.

Dr. Rolf Wirtz: "The decision not to run again as CEO for five years was not easy for me, as I am very attached to the company. But the ship is on a clear course and I am convinced that its excellent team will continue to be very successful. I look forward to continuing to play my part as a consultant."


Oliver Burkhard new CEO of thyssenkrupp Marine Systems

In an extraordinary meeting today the Supervisory Board of thyssenkrupp Marine Systems appointed its former Chairman Oliver Burkhard as the new CEO of thyssenkrupp Marine Systems.

Oliver Burkhard will take up the role on May 1, 2022 and perform it from his position as Executive Board member of thyssenkrupp AG.

Oliver Burkhard: "I am very much looking forward to this task and working with the employees of Marine Systems. Discussions on the further development of the company can now be conducted strategically from a single source. This also takes account of the changed situation: Marine Systems is important for thyssenkrupp and for Germany's security architecture."

The dual role - CEO of a unit and member of the Executive Board of thyssenkrupp AG - reflects the importance of Marine Systems for the thyssenkrupp Group. With this decision, Marine Systems will be directly represented on the Executive Board of thyssenkrupp AG.
At the same time the aim is to achieve greater independence for the businesses in the "group of companies" in the long term. This will allow all meaningful options for thyssenkrupp Marine Systems to be resolutely pursued.

Oliver Burkhard succeeds Dr. Rolf Wirtz, who will remain with the company as a consultant from May 1, 2022 when his appointment expires. With the appointment of Oliver Burkhard, the chairmanship of the Supervisory Board of thyssenkrupp Marine Systems has passed to Dr. Klaus Keysberg, CFO of thyssenkrupp AG.

In his role as member of the Executive Board of thyssenkrupp AG, Burkhard was responsible for the marine business since 2018 and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of thyssenkrupp Marine Systems GmbH since 2017.


thyssenkrupp Marine Systems hands over frigate “RHEINLAND-PFALZ”

Today, thyssenkrupp Marine Systems handed over the frigate “RHEINLAND-PFALZ” to the Federal Office of Bundeswehr Equipment, Information Technology and In-Service Support (BAAINBw) in Hamburg. With that, all four ships of the F125 class, which thyssenkrupp Marine Systems built together with the NVL Group in the ARGE F125 consortium, have been successfully delivered.

The ship was handed over to the BAAINBw, represented by the Head of the Acceptance Commission, Matthias Rohde, and the responsible project manager at the BAAINBw, Marc Steffens, during a ceremony in Hamburg, which was kept low profile due to the pandemic. On behalf of thyssenkrupp Marine Systems, Programme Manager Patrick Buggenthin signed the handover papers. Representing ARGE, Chief Executive Officer Dr. Rolf Wirtz said: “We have now delivered all of the type F125 ships. The other three vessels are already in the in-service phase and have since proven their technical capabilities and reliability. We are convinced that the fourth vessel, the “RHEINLAND-PFALZ”, will also be successful. We wish the ship and crew ‘fair winds and following seas’. Full operational readiness of all ships for the German Navy remains our most important goal. On behalf of all employees, I would like to express my gratitude for the trust placed in us. At the same time, I would like to thank all our industry partners for their support and for what has been achieved. In our view, the innovative and highly complex ships of this class make an important contribution to a navy equipped for the future. We look forward to continuing the good cooperation with the German Navy.”

The first ship of the F125 class is scheduled to enter service in mid-2023. In order to create the necessary conditions for this phase, a comprehensive support contract regarding the technical logistic support (TLS) for the F125 frigates was concluded between ARGE F125 and the BAAINBw at the end of last year.

The completely redesigned vessels of the F125 class have highly complex systems and around 28,000 sensors that enable a very high degree of automation, making it possible to reduce the required number of crew members by about half compared to previous frigate classes. Moreover, the ships can remain in their theatre of operations for up to two years. Besides the traditional tasks of national and alliance defence, they are designed for conflict prevention and crisis management as well as for intervention and stabilization operations in an international context. In addition to the ability to engage targets both on land and on water, they are equipped with air defence systems and helicopters.

The contract for the construction of the four frigates became effective in June 2007. The concept, design and detailed design phases followed. Around 90 percent of the highly complex systems on board the F125 were developed specifically for this new type of ship.

ARGE F125 comprises thyssenkrupp Marine Systems as the lead company and the Bremen-based NVL Group (formerly Lürssen Defence). The pre-fitted bow sections were produced at the shipyards of the NVL Group in Bremen and in Wolgast on the Baltic Sea. Construction of the stern sections, the joining of the two vessel halves, further fitting-out, commissioning and trials all took place at the NVL shipyard Blohm+Voss in Hamburg.


Principal data of the F125
Length: 149 m
Beam: 18 m
Maximum speed: > 26 kn
Displacement:             approx. 7,200 t
Complement: max. 190 (of which 126 are regular crew)


About thyssenkrupp Marine Systems
With around 6,500 employees, thyssenkrupp Marine Systems is one of the world's leading marine companies and a systems provider in submarine and surface shipbuilding as well as maritime electronics and security technology. Over 180 years of history and the constant pursuit of improvements are the basis for the company's success in constantly setting new standards. thyssenkrupp Marine Systems offers customized solutions for highly complex challenges in a changing world. The driving forces behind this are the employees of the company, who shape the future of thyssenkrupp Marine Systems with passion and commitment every day. More information at

About NVL Group
NVL Group is a privately owned group of four renowned Northern German shipyards and related companies, with additional shipyards in Australia, Bulgaria and Brunei. Customers can rely on us to consistently provide tailored, smart and cost-effective naval solutions that keep the German Navy and navies around the world mission-ready. With deep roots in shipbuilding, we listen to our customers’ ideas, understand their requirements, and deliver high-quality naval and coast guard vessels as well as comprehensive services throughout the entire life cycle of their fleets. Construction at our shipyards is supplemented by licensed manufacture at customer facilities worldwide under technology transfer arrangements. As an independent enterprise, we remain flexible to market changes and operate a dynamic, safe and future-oriented business for customers, employees and partners.

Safety first! Because we care.

When it comes to the safety of our employees, we don't joke around. At thyssenkrupp Marine Systems all colleagues should be safe. David Mißfelder, Head of Occupational Safety and Health at our Kiel shipyard told us how his team meets this challenge.

Submarine components from 3D printers go into series production

Industrial parts from state-of-the-art 3D printers have decisive advantages over conventionally produced components. That's why our naval experts at thyssenkrupp Marine Systems are working at full speed to make 3D-printed components cost-effective for submarine construction. The necessary quality and safety standards have already been set. With the acquisition of the Group's Additive Manufacturing TechCenter, we are right on course on our journey to become the most modern naval company in Europe – and to series production of 3D printed submarine components.

A great kick-off for our new platform

"Technology Conventions 2020“ in Kiel this week! With naval specialists from #MarineSystems and selected suppliers, the first technology discussion focused on REP-floors - standardized floor plates for #submarines and #surfacevessels. Insights from #Engineering and Supply Chain Management as well as field reports from our #SeaTrial team laid the foundation for the joint workshops sharing the latest functional and strategic trends in the marine systems industry. We are looking forward to the next "Technology Conventions“ this summer for more exciting dialogues on #innovation, #digitalization and marine technology. Attendance by invitation only. To participate, please reach out to our colleagues at

Fascination deep sea: Autonomous submarines tap previously unexplored seabed

On our way to become the most modern #naval company in Europe, we think beyond known waters. With #SeaCat our engineeres set out to explore the world's sea beds – a mystery to mankind. The unmanned #submarine, uses underwater mapping and footage to provide new insights into the mysterious world #underwater.

A new standard for unmanned underwater operations:

The Modifiable Underwater Mothership (MUM). Today, we proudly presented the results of a pioneering research project on large modular underwater vehicles. Designed in collaboration with project partners from science and industry, MUM could now permanently change the way #underwater research is conducted. The high-tech asset for the civil #maritimeindustry is powered by a state-of-the-art, emission-free fuel cell. Independent of wind and weather, MUM can operate 24/7, 365 days a year. Norbert Brackmann, German government coordinator for the maritime industry, visited our shipyard in Kiel to experience the project progress and the technological innovations developed by our maritime experts. To further the research, we will now apply for funding for a MUM large-scale demonstrator as part of the Economic Ministry’s Maritime Research Programme.

Today, Germany's most modern

#frigate was put into service and officially commissioned: The F125 "Nordrhein-Westfalen“. The ship is the second of a total of four frigates which are available to the #GermanNavy. Their strength lies not only in fulfilling the traditional tasks of national and alliance defence, but also in their design for conflict prevention and crisis management as well as intervention and stabilization operations on an international scale. We look forward to the handing over of the third and fourth ships which are planned to take place successively until 2021. #BadenWürttembergKlasse

On today’s #IntellectualPropertyDay,

we are celebrating 125 years of patent history at @thyssenkrupp. Every year, thyssenkrupp developers file #patents for about 600 new #inventions worldwide. On our way to become the most modern naval company in Europe, we at @thyssenkrupp Marine Systems are working on new innovations every day. For example, when developing an underwater vehicle that prevents unnecessary by-catch and saves the ecology of oceans around the world:

ADLiS® - The New Dimension in Network-based Operations. For all Nations.

It's simply a tactical decision. #ADLiS® is the #data link system from our experts at #AtlasElektronik. It opens up new dimensions in network-based operations by combining all information at the highest speed and enabling the #tactical situation to be recorded. It links people, platforms, sensors and weapons. This greatly increases the command speed and the combat strength of the entire unit.