Procurement for 2 new Type 707 auxillary tankers approved by Chief of Defense of Germany on 17th July. These ships are planned to be comissioned at 2024 in order to replace their predecessors, Type-704 class (Rhön class) tankers. Because Type 704s which was built at 1970s, are about to finish their life cycle.
To talk about new tankers, Type 707 tankers’ operational-logistical skills more than the current tankers of the Rhön class. To compare, Type 704 ships have a cargo capacity of around 11,500 cubic meters, type 707s can carry 15,000 cubic meters of fuel. Another advantage of Type 707 tankers will be their speed. They will be able to keep up with the pace of frigates. When Rhön class tankers make 16 kts of speed, Type 707 will be able to proceed around 20 kts.
Of course, these and other features, such as the larger payload, make the new ships bigger: they will be around 170 meters long, with a predicted displacement of more than 20,000 tons. However, they remain at the same draft as their predecessors: 8 meters. This allows their mooring in the naval base Wilhelmshaven, without the port would have to be deepened for larger ships.
The new fleet tankers will also have a civilian crew. However, the size of the crew will decrease: from 42 to about 20.
Type 707 tankers are planned to serve fleet beyond 2050s.
From January 2019, the Federal Office for Equipment, Information Technology and Use of the Bundeswehr (BAAINBw) will install a fixed project group that will organize the procurement process in the coming years. What are the key parameters that the German Armed Forces will demand in the bid for industry offers is already known.
Here is a comparison chart of Type 704 versus Type 707 :