An international invite to tender is supposed to come forth within the next few weeks, and the decision for a winning design to be made 100 weeks thereafter. It has been pointed out that this will be about the date of the next national elections and there will be an inevitable delay while the new Bundestag constitutes and starts parliamentary deliberations on acquisition, but apparently that's already as fast as the MoD feels safe with.
Quite unsurprisingly, the original ambitious timetable cannot be upheld, as the MoD notified parliament this week that a ready-to-sign contract will emerge only after the elections late next year, half a year later than envisioned, because "we need to discuss more with industry". Quite surprisingly, it was reported yesterday that the CDU/CSU-SPD coalition had agreed to procure five additional corvettes, with the first two to be commissioned in 2019 already, as happily announced by two Bundestag members including Johannes Kahrs, spokesman of the SPD in the budget committee and MP for
That could really work only if they start cutting the steel about right now, and would obviously exclude a lengthy process of inviting to tender, designing etc., which means the additional vessels could really be only more K 130; of course original plans called for 15, eventually reduced to the five now in service. With the Baltic returning more to the focus vis-a-vis Russia, the rationale to supplant the old missile FACs (the last four of which are to be decommissioned next month) makes more sense again of course.
Only recently there was a suggestion for a "Korvette 132" (following the original K 131 designation for MKS 180) was made by a naval officer in "Wehrtechnik", but as noted, to get new vessels so fast would mean that at best minor modifications could be made to the K 130 design which at least seems to work now after lengthy teething problems. But I'll believe that when I see the hulls.