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BERLIN, Jan 14 (Reuters) - Germany has awarded Dutch shipyard Damen a contract to construct at least four new multi-role warships worth nearly 6 billion euros ($6.7 billion) in an alliance with its Bremen-based partner Luerssen, the armed forces and budget lawmakers said on Tuesday.
The ship tender is one of Germany's biggest arms projects, along with a contract for the MEADS missile defence system and the new Franco-German fighter jet (FCAS), underlining Berlin's efforts to increase its military capabilities.
The first warship is expected to be delivered in 2027, the Bundeswehr armed forces said in a statement, confirming a Reuters report from Monday. The contract includes an option to build two additional MKS 180 warships.
Lawmakers told Reuters that about two-thirds of the production will take place at Luerssen's shipyards and other sites in northern Germany.
"The decision for the MKS 180 to be mainly built by the Luerssen Group and thus in Germany is a good decision which strengthens Germany as a marine and shipyard location," said Eckhardt Rehberg, chief budget lawmaker from Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives.
Germany's new warships will be able to attack targets on land and under water, and provide air cover for other vessels.
Other companies interested in the MKS 180 warship tender were ThyssenKrupp and German Naval Yards.
Damen said in a statement that its alliance also included Hamburg-based Blohm+Voss shipyard and France's Thales. It estimated that about 80% of the tender's net investment would remain in Germany.
Reporting by Michael Nienaber and Sabine Siebold; Editing by Timothy Heritage