Naval Group launched the seventh FREMM multi-mission frigate, FS Alsace (D656), for the French Navy during a ceremony at company’s facility in Lorient on April 18.
The vessel is the first one of the two air defense frigates of the FREMM program (FREMM DA) destined to the French Navy. She benefits from the same anti-submarine warfare (ASW) performances as the preceding units and also from increased capacities in terms of air defense.
The launch happened thirteen months after the keel laying of the first block. Ninth multi-missions FREMM frigate constructed by the Naval Group, it is also the seventh one for the French Navy, ordered by the OCCAr on behalf of the DGA.
In order to answer the operational requirements, the Alsace FREMM integrates the last evolutions ordered by the OCCAr, according to an unchanged delivery planning. “The essential of the architecture of the first FREMM designed by Naval Group is conserved but its polyvalence will be increased by enhanced capacities in terms of anti-aerial warfare. These modifications particularly concern the combat system.” says Pierre-Jean Cuisinier, director of the FREMM DA program.
The technical adaptations brought by Naval Group are notably translated into a more powerful multifunction radar, reinforced communication tools, three additional consoles for the Combat Management System SETIS® in the combat information center (CIC), with enhanced air defense capacities using the Aster 15 and 30 missiles. In a few days, the FREMM Alsace will also receive its new mast, opitmised in order to increase the detection performances.
“This ninth launching is scoring the collaboration between Naval Group, the DGA, the OCCAr and the French Navy in order to produce ships benefitting from the continuous enhancement of the already produced FREMM. Thanks to the good master of the technological risks but also to the determination and the know-how of the group’s teams, it is a new successful challenge.” explains Nicolas Gaspard, director of the FREMM programs.
In addition to the ensuring the same anti-submarine warfare missions than the previous FREMM, the FREMM DA Alsace will have the role of ensuring the air defense of major units: the Charles de Gaulle aircraft-carrier or an amphibious helicopter-carrier, within an aero-naval or amphibious group.
The Naval Group teams and its numerous partners are mobilized in order to deliver the two anti-air defense frigates Alsace and Lorraine, respectively on the first semester 2021 and on the second semester 2022.
Seven FREMM have been delivered between 2012 and 2018. The Aquitaine in 2012, the Provence in 2015, the Languedoc in 2016, the Auvergne in April 2017 and the Bretagne in July 2018.
On the international side, Morocco received the Mohammed VI in 2014 and Egypt the Tahya Misr in 2015. The Normandie will be delivered in summer 2019 in conformity with the contractual planning.
Technical characteristics of the air defense FREMM:
Strongly armed, the FREMM DA Alsace use the most advanced weapon systems and equipment so as: the multi-function Herakles radar, the Aster 15 and 30 and Excocet MM 40 missiles or even the MU 90 torpedo. The performances of its combat system are reinforced with increased radar and communication capacities, a new radar and electro-optical fire-lead, and a Combat Management System SETIS equipped with specific anti-air defense functions.
- Overall length: 142 m
- Beam: 20 m
- Displacement: 6,000 tonnes
- speed: 27 knots
- Complement: 119 (+ 14 for the helicopter crew)
- Accommodation: 165 men and women
- Range: 6,000 at 15 knots
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.
In France the class is known as the Aquitaine class, while in Italy they are known as the Bergamini class.
Orizzonte Sistemi Navali – OSN acts as prime contractor for Italy in the initiative, while Armaris (Naval Group and Thales) is prime contractor for France.
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-defence variants. The class is one of the five finalists for the U.S. Navy’s FFG(X) program.