German Navy

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Naval Ensign of Germany.svg
FIAV 000001.svg Naval Ensign of Germany.
Founded 1956 (1990)
Country  Germany
Size 15,600 personnel
81 ships
52 aircraft
Part of Bundeswehr
Headquarters of the German Navy Rostock (Marinekommando)
Motto Wir.Dienen.Deutschland
(We serve Germany)
Engagements Operation Sharp Guard (1993–96)
Operation Enduring Freedom
 • Combined Task Force 150 (2002– )
Operation Active Endeavour
Operation ATALANTA
Inspekteur der Marine Vice Admiral Axel Schimpf
Logo of the German Navy Bundeswehr Logo Marine with lettering.svg

German Navy
Deutsche Marine
German Naval Ensign
Naval Air Arm
Fleet 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: MarineAbout this sound listen ) 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 peace-keeping and peace enforcement operations, 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 was disbanded on 2 April 1852; thus, the modern day navy celebrates its birthday on 14 June.

Between May 1945 and 1956, the German Mine Sweeping Administration and its successor organizations, made up of former members of 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.


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

Current operations[edit]

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.

Presently the largest operation the German Navy is participating in is UNIFIL II 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.[1]

Ships and aircraft[edit]


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.[2][3] 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.[4]


The naval air arm of the German Navy is called the Marineflieger. The Marineflieger operate approx. 50 aircraft.

Aircraft Origin Type Versions Quantity[5] 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[6]
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 Chief German Navy (Inspekteur der Marine). The Headquarters of the German Navy, which combined the naval staff in Bonn, the Commander-in-Chief German Fleet or CINCGERFLEET (Befehlshaber der Flotte) at Glücksburg, and the Naval Office (Marineamt) in October 2012, is located in Rostock.

The strength of the Navy is about 15,000 men and women.[7]

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


  • HQ 1st Flotilla
  • 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
  • 7th Fast Patrol Boat Squadron (7. Schnellbootgeschwader), Warnemünde
  • 5th Minesweeping Squadron (5. Minensuchgeschwader), Kiel
  • Naval Force Protection Battalion, (Seebataillon), Eckernförde
  • Reconnaisance company (Aufklärungskompanie)
  • Coastal Operations Copany (Küsteneinsatzkompanie)
  • Boarding Company (Bordeinsatzkompanie)
  • mine clearance diver company (mine countermeasures and explosive ordnance disposal; Minentaucherkompanie)
  • Support company
  • Training depot (Ausbildungszentrum Seebataillon)
  • Naval Base Command (Marinestützpunktkommando) Eckernförde
  • Naval Base Command (Marinestützpunktkommando) Kiel
  • Naval Base Command (Marinestützpunktkommando) Warnemünde
  • Naval Aviation Command (Marinefliegerkommando)
  • Naval Air Wing 3 (Marinefliegergeschwader 3), Nordholz
  • Naval Air Wing 5 (Marinefliegergeschwader 5), Nordholz
  • Naval Support Command (Marineunterstützungskommando — MUKdo)
  • Naval Academy (Marineschule Mürwik), Flensburg-Mürwik
  • Petty Officer School (Marineunteroffiziersschule), Plön
  • Engineering School (Marinetechnikschule), Parow, near Stralsund
  • Naval Operations School (Marineoperationsschule), Bremerhaven
  • Naval Damage Control Training Centre (Ausbildungszentrum für Schiffssicherung), Neustadt in Holstein


The German Navy has a strength of 15,600 personnel.



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 GE-NAVY-OF-9 Adm.svg
GE-NAVY-OF-8 VAdm.svg
GE-NAVY-OF-7 KAdm.svg
GE-NAVY-OF-6 FltlAdm.svg
GE-NAVY-OF-5 KptzS.svg
zur See
GE-NAVY-OF-4 FKpt.svg
GE-NAVY-OF-3 KKpt.svg
GE-NAVY-OF-2b StKptLt.svg
GE-NAVY-OF-2a KptLt.svg
GE-NAVY-OF-1b OLtzS.svg
zur See
GE-NAVY-OF-1a LtzS.svg
zur See
GE-NAVY-OF(D)b OFähnrzS.svg
zur See
GE-NAVY-OF(D)a FähnrzS.svg
zur See
GE-NAVY-Cadet SKad.svg
Enlisted rank plus a star indicating cadet's career

Petty officers and enlisted seamen[edit]

NATO Code OR-9 OR-8 OR-7 OR-6 OR-5 OR-4 OR-3 OR-2 OR-1
Germany Germany
MDS 35 Oberstaabsbootsmann 20.svg MDJA 35 Oberstabsbootsmann 30 Lu.svg MDS 34 Staabsbootsmann 10.svg MDJA 34 Stabsbootsmann 40 Lu.svg GE-NAVY-OR-7 HptBtsm.svg GE-NAVY-OR-6b OBtsm.svg GE-NAVY-OR-6a Btsm.svg GE-NAVY-OR-5b OMaat.svg GE-NAVY-OR-5a Maat.svg GE-NAVY-OR-4b OStGefr.svg GE-NAVY-OR-4a StGefr.svg GE-NAVY-OR-3b HptGefr.svg GE-NAVY-OR-3a OGefr.svg GE-NAVY-OR-2 Gefr.svg GE-NAVY-OR-1 Matr.svg
Oberstabsbootsmann Stabsbootsmann Hauptbootsmann Oberbootsmann Bootsmann Obermaat Maat Oberstabsgefreiter Stabsgefreiter Hauptgefreiter Obergefreiter Gefreiter Matrose

Radio and communication stations[edit]

Future developments[edit]

  • 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]
  • One more Berlin class replenishment ship was ordered in December 2008.
  • 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.


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ [2]
  3. ^ [3]
  4. ^ [4]
  5. ^ Aviation Week & Space Technology 2009, . (2009): n. pag. Web. 13 September 2009. <>.
  6. ^ "Tiger & N90 orders" (in German). German MOD. 2013-03-15. Retrieved 7 May 2013. 
  7. ^ [5]
  8. ^ Nolting, Wolfgang E. (Inspekteur der Marine). 3.1. Struktur der Marine., 12 January 2009. Accessed 13 August 2009.
  9. ^ [6]

External links[edit]

See also[edit]