Although two vessels were inducted in to the naval fleet on 2008, it was later found out that the gearbox is defective. According to the local sources, some of the components need to be refitted, and the vessels are unlikely to enter active service before 2014. Naval officials have expressed concern that the delay in the induction of the vessels may result in the reduction of the operational capabilities of the naval forces.
Originally designated to replace the ageing Tiger and Albatros class fast attack crafts of the German Navy, the construction of the vessels were kick-started in 2004. Although most of the vessels were built in the local German shipyards, some of the components were manufactured by the firms in Switzerland. The firm had outsourced the manufacturing of the gear-box to a Poland based engineering company.
After the gear-boxes turned out to be defective, the Germans asked the Swiss firm to immediately replace the components. However, the firm has stated that it will be unable to do the same before 2014. The German shipyards have finished the construction of all the five vessels, but since the gear-box is not yet ready, they are likely to remain inactive for several more months.
The Hamburg-based Blohm & Voss, and the Bremen based Lürssen Werft have completed the manufacturing of two vessels each, while the Emden based Nordseewerke has finished the construction of its lone vessel, Erfurt.
The 1,800 tonne Braunschweig class vessels are capable of attaining speeds of up to 26 knots. Each of the vessels operates with a crew of 65. The main armament is the RBS-15 anti-ship missile, in addition to the Otobreda 76 mm naval cannons.