French Navy’s Sixth FREMM Frigate Normandie Enters Active Service

The French Navy’s sixth FREMM multi-mission frigate FS Normandie (D651) entered active service, the Chief of Staff of the French Navy Admiral Christophe Prazuck announced June 3.

Heavily armed, the FREMM Normandie deploys as its sister ships the most effective weapon systems and equipment, such as the Herakles multifunction radar, the naval cruise missile (MdCN), the Aster and Exocet MM 40 missiles or the MU 90 torpedoes.

The vessel was launched on Feb. 1, 2018, at Naval Group’s Lorient site. She is the eighth FREMM frigate to be built in Lorient and the sixth in the series ordered by OCCAR on behalf of the French defense procurement agency DGA for the French Navy.

FS Normandie is the last of the first batch of anti-submarine warfare (ASW) variant FREMM frigates ordered by the French Navy. The next two frigates are of air defense (FREMM DA) variant, first of which, FS Alsace (D656), was launched on April 18, 2019.

French Navy’s sixth FREMM multi-mission frigate FS Normandie (D651). Naval Group Photo.

FREMM Frigates

FREMM (French: Frégate européenne multi-mission; Italian: Fregata Europea multi-missione, European multi-purpose frigate) is a class of multi-purpose frigates designed by France’s Naval Group/Armaris and Italy’s Fincantieri for the French Navy and the Italian Navy.

Orizzonte Sistemi Navali – OSN acts as prime contractor for Italy in the initiative, while Armaris (Naval Group and Thales) is prime contractor for France. In France, the frigate class is known as the Aquitaine class, while in Italy they are known as the Bergamini class.

Italy has ordered six general-purpose variants and four anti-submarine warfare (ASW) variants; the last two Italian general-purpose FREMMs will have anti-aircraft warfare (AAW), anti-ballistic missile (ABM) and surface attack capabilities. France has ordered six ASW variants and two air-defense variants.

The FREMM frigate was also selected for the U.S. Navy’s FFG(X) guided-missile frigate program.

FREMM technical characteristics

+ Overall length: 142 meters
+ Width: 20 metres
+ Displacement: 6,000 tonnes
+ Max. speed: 27 knots
+ Crew complement: 108 persons (including the helicopter detachment)
+ Accommodation capacity: 145 persons
+ Range: 6,000 nautical miles at 15 knots

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