BERLIN (Reuters) - A need for more cybersecurity features and plans for a training facility have driven up the projected cost of Germany’s new multi-purpose MKS 180 warship program by 700 million euros to around 5.2 billion euros ($6.1 billion), the Defence Ministry said on Monday.
The projected cost had already been raised by 500 million euros last year.
A ministry spokesman said the extra cybersecurity measures and the onshore training center were being announced now to try to forestall surprises once the ships were under construction.
The cost increase was first reported by the Handelsblatt newspaper.
The ships are to enter service in the mid-2020s, and will be capable of attacking targets on land and underwater and giving aerial protection to other vessels. The program is part of a drive to beef up the navy after years of spending cuts.
The ministry is currently evaluating two bids and expects to ask the bidders for best and final offers late this year or early next, the spokesman said.
The cost estimate covers the cost of four ships. The ministry plans to buy two more, but they are not yet included in the projected cost.
Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems and German Naval Yards Kiel (GNYK) have teamed up to make a bid, competing with a consortium of Dutch shipbuilder Damen and Luerssen-owned Blohm+Voss.
Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Kevin Liffey