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German Navy

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Title: German Navy  
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Subject: Hunt class destroyer, EML Sulev (M312), Type 139 patrol trawler, Sachsen-class frigate, Wachbataillon
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German Navy

German Navy
Deutsche Marine
Naval Ensign of Germany
Founded 2 January 1956
Country  Germany
Type Navy
Size 16,086 personnel (31 October 2014)[1]
81 ships
52 aircraft
Part of Bundeswehr
Headquarters of the German Navy Rostock (Navy Command)
Motto Wir. Dienen. Deutschland
(We. Serve. Germany)
March "Gruß an Kiel (de)"
Anniversaries 14 June

Operation Sharp Guard (1993–96)
Operation Enduring Freedom

Operation Active Endeavour

Operation ATALANTA
Inspector of the Navy Vice Admiral Andreas Krause
Deputy Inspector of the Navy Vice Admiral Rainer Brinkmann
Chief of Staff Rear Admiral Klaus von Dambrowski
Logo of the German Navy

German Navy
Deutsche Marine
German Naval Ensign
Naval Air Arm
Navy Command
Ship Classes
History and Traditions
Prussian Navy
Norddeutsche Bundesmarine
Imperial German Navy
Awards, Decorations and Badges
Badge of Honour of the Bundeswehr
Military Proficiency Badge
Badge of Marksmanship
Deployment Medal
Flood Service Medal

The German Navy (German: Deutsche Marine or simply German: Marine   ) is the navy of Germany and part of the unified Bundeswehr (the German Armed Forces). It is deeply integrated into the NATO alliance. Its primary mission is protection of Germany's territorial waters and maritime infrastructure as well as sea lines of communication. Apart from this, the German Navy participates in peacekeeping operations, and renders humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

The German Navy traces its roots back to the Reichsflotte (Imperial Fleet) of the revolutionary era of 1848–52. The Reichsflotte was the first German navy to sail under the black-red-gold flag. Founded on 14 June 1848 by the orders of the democratically elected Frankfurt Parliament, the Reichsflotte's brief existence ended with the failure of the revolution and it was disbanded on 2 April 1852; thus, the modern day navy celebrates its birthday on 14 June.

Between May 1945 and 1956, the Kriegsmarine, became something of a transition stage for the navy, allowing the future Marine to draw on experienced personnel upon its formation. In 1956, with West Germany's accession to NATO, the Bundesmarine, as the navy was known colloquially, was formally established. In the same year the East German Volkspolizei See became the Volksmarine ("People's Navy"). With the accession of East Germany to the Federal Republic of Germany in 1990 the Volksmarine along with the whole National People's Army became part of the Bundeswehr. Since 1995 the name German Navy is used in international context, while the official name since 1956 remains Marine without any additions. As of October 2014, the strength of the Navy is 16,086 men and women.[1]


  • History 1
  • Current operations 2
    • UNIFIL Maritime Task Force 2.1
  • Equipment 3
    • Ships and submarines 3.1
    • Aircraft 3.2
  • Structure 4
    • Formations 4.1
  • Ranks 5
    • Officers 5.1
    • Petty officers and enlisted seamen 5.2
  • Radio and communication stations 6
  • Future developments 7
  • See also 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10


A number of naval forces have operated in different periods. See

Current operations

German warships permanently participate in all four NATO Maritime Groups. The German Navy is also engaged in operations against international terrorism such as Operation Enduring Freedom and NATO Operation Active Endeavour.

UNIFIL Maritime Task Force

Presently the largest operation the German Navy is participating in is UNIFIL off the coast of Lebanon. The German contribution to this operation is two frigates, four fast attack craft, and two auxiliary vessels. The naval component of UNIFIL has been under German command.[2]

Ships deployed

  • Current
    • S76 Frettchen (Ferret)
    • S79 Wiesel (Weasel)


Ships and submarines

In total, there are about 81 commissioned ships in the German Navy, including 4 submarines and 21 auxiliary ships. The displacement of the navy is 220,000 tonnes. In addition, the German Navy and the Royal Danish Navy are in cooperation in the "Ark Project". This agreement made the Ark Project responsible for the strategic sealift of German armed forces where the full-time charter of three roll-on-roll-off cargo and troop ships are ready for deployments. In addition, these ships are also kept available for the use of the other European NATO countries.

The three vessels have a combined displacement of 60,000 tonnes.[3][4] Including these ships, the total ships' displacement available to the Deutsche Marine is 280,000 tonnes.

A total of five Joint Support Ships, two JSS800 and three JSS400, were planned during the 1995-2010 period but the programme appears now to have been abandoned, not having been mentioned in two recent defence reviews. The larger ships would have been tasked for strategic troop transport and amphibious operations, and were to displace 27.000 to 30.000 tons for 800 soldiers.[5]


The naval air arm of the German Navy is called the Marineflieger. The Marineflieger operate approx. 50 aircraft.
Aircraft Origin Type Versions Quantity[6] Notes
Fixed-wing aircraft
P-3C Orion - CUP  United States Maritime patrol P-3C MPA 8 Former Royal Dutch Navy
Dornier Do 228  Germany Pollution control Do 228 LM/NG 2
Westland Lynx  United Kingdom Maritime helicopter Mk 88 21 Will be replaced by NH90 NFH
Westland Sea King  United Kingdom Search and rescue Mk 41 21 Replacement planned
NHI NH90  European Union Maritime helicopter NFH 0 18 ordered[7]
Camcopter S-100  Austria UAV S-100 0 6 on order.
A German Navy boarding team member assigned to the frigate FGS Augsburg (F213) provides security with a P8 pistol for the remainder of his team as they board a local cargo dhow by fast rope to conduct a search of the vessel.


The German Navy is commanded by the Inspector of the Navy (Inspekteur der Marine) supported by the Navy Command (Marinekommando) in Rostock.

The navy is operating a number of development and testing installations as part of an inter-service and international network.


  • HQ 1st Flotilla
    • NATO Centre of Excellence for Operations in Confined and Shallow Waters (COE CSW)
  • 1st Corvette Squadron (1. Korvettengeschwader), Warnemünde
  • 1st Submarine Squadron (1. Ubootgeschwader), Eckernförde
    • Submarine Training Centre (Ausbildungszentrum Unterseeboote), Eckernförde
  • 3rd Minesweeping Squadron (3. Minensuchgeschwader), Kiel
  • 5th Minesweeping Squadron (5. Minensuchgeschwader), Kiel
  • 7th Fast Patrol Boat Squadron (7. Schnellbootgeschwader), Warnemünde
  • Naval Force Protection Battalion, (Seebataillon), Eckernförde
  • Naval Special Forces Command (de), (Kommando Spezialkräfte Marine), Eckernförde
  • Naval Base Command Kiel (Marinestützpunktkommando Kiel)
  • Naval Base Command Eckernförde
  • Naval Base Command Warnemünde
  • HQ 2nd Flotilla
  • 2nd Frigate Squadron (2. Fregattengeschwader), Wilhelmshaven
  • 4th Frigate Squadron (4. Fregattengeschwader), Wilhelmshaven
  • Auxiliary Squadron (Trossgeschwader), Wilhelmshaven
  • Naval Base Command Wilhelmshaven
  • Naval Aviation Command (Marinefliegerkommando), Nordholz
  • Naval Air Wing 3 (Marinefliegergeschwader 3), Nordholz
  • Naval Air Wing 5 (Marinefliegergeschwader 5), Nordholz



NATO Code OF-10 OF-9 OF-8 OF-7 OF-6 OF-5 OF-4 OF-3 OF-2 OF-1 OF(D) Student Officer
no equivalent





zur See





zur See

zur See

zur See

zur See

Enlisted rank plus a star indicating cadet's career

Petty officers and enlisted seamen

NATO Code OR-9 OR-8 OR-7 OR-6 OR-5 OR-4 OR-3 OR-2 OR-1
Oberstabsbootsmann Stabsbootsmann Hauptbootsmann Oberbootsmann Bootsmann Obermaat Maat Oberstabsgefreiter Stabsgefreiter Hauptgefreiter Obergefreiter Gefreiter Matrose

Radio and communication stations

Future developments

  • A first batch of four frigates of the F125 class (Baden-Württemberg class) specialised for persistent stabilization missions is planned to replace all eight Bremen class frigates warships (eight guided-missile frigates). Each F125 will have two crews. They are expected to enter service between 2016 and 2018.
  • Six medium surface combat ships are planned under the name Korvette "K131" (corvette "K131")
  • A new development called "Mehrzweckeinsatzschiff" (multi-mission ship) was announced in January 2009.[8]
  • 18 NH90 NFH Helicopters ordered to replace Lynx in ASW/AsuW role, originally ordered by the German Army as NH90 TTH variant.
  • 12 Medium Sized Helicopters are planned to replace the current 22 Sea King helicopters of Naval Air Wing 5 in SAR & ship-based Transport Role (VertRep)
  • A first batch of six Camcopter S-100 UAVs for the use on the Braunschweig class corvettes has been ordered (more being planned). Deliveries will take place in 2013.[9]
  • In May 2013 it was announced by both Ministers of Defence that the German- & Dutch Navy agreed to integrate submarine operations, training and design for future replacements.

See also


  1. ^ a b Die Stärke der Streitkräfte, 10 November 2014
  2. ^!/delta/base64xml/L2dJQSEvUUt3QS80SVVFLzZfMjNfUjFR?yw_contentURL=%2F01DB070000000001%2FW27G6EFV180INFODE%2Fcontent.jsp
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Tiger & N90 orders" (in German). German MOD. 2013-03-15. Retrieved 7 May 2013. 
  8. ^!/delta/base64xml/L2dJQSEvUUt3QS80SVVFLzZfMjNfUVM1?yw_contentURL=%2F01DB070000000001%2FW26WMF3P003INFODE%2Fcontent.jsp
  9. ^

External links

  • Official website
  • The German Navy — Facts and Figures, 12th Edition, February 2013
  • Uniforms
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