The FREMM DA Alsace was launched from the construction form of the Naval Group shipyard of Lorient thirteen months after its keel laying. It is the ninth FREMM frigate built by Naval Group and the seventh one for the French Navy.
“We kept the architecture of the first FREMM designed by Naval Group but the FREMM DA versatility will be increased by enhanced capacities in terms of anti-air warfare. These modifications particularly concern the combat system.”Pierre-Jean Cuisinier, FREMM DA program director
While the FREMM DA retains the same anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capabilities as earlier vessels of the Aquitaine-class (with CAPTAS-4 and UMS 4110 CL sonars), its so called “increased capabilities in air defense” consists in a few notable changes:
- The Thales Herakles multi-function radar is more powerful , has more transmitter modules, additional wave-forms and search modes for long range air defense
- A Thales STIR EO MK 2 fire control radar replaces the Najir by Sagem (providing better AAW and ASuW capabilities to the 76mm main gun)
- Reinforced bridge structure to accommodate the extra weight of the above
- 4x Sylver A50 vertical launch systems for a total of 32x MBDA Aster 15 or 30 surface to air missiles
- Additional communication systems and antennas
- 3x additional consoles in the CIC (the global arrangement inside the CIC has been modified accordingly) for a total of 20 aboard the ship
- Modifications to the SETIS combat management system
- Additional berthing
In addition to their top of the line ASW capabilities, the FREMM DA Alsace will be tasked with area air defence of major Marine Nationale units such as the Charles de Gaulle aircraft-carrier and the three Mistral-class LHDs, within a carrier-strike group or amphibious group.
The FREMM DA program started in 2008. Naval Group its partners are set to deliver the two FREMM DA frigates Alsace and Lorraine, respectively in the first half of 2021 and the second half of 2022.
To date, 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, last FREMM in the ASW variant, will be delivered this summer in line with the contractual planning.
The two FREMM DA are replacing the two Cassard-class (Type F70 AA) frigates and their ageing SM-1 surface to air missiles. Cassard was decommissioned on 15 march 2019.
After the delivery of the last FREMM, Lorraine, Naval Group will transition to the FDI, the next generation of frigates for the French Navy.
Technical characteristics of the FREMM DA
According to Naval Group, the FREMM DA Alsace is a strongly armed surface combatant fitted with the most performant weapon systems and equipment such as: the Herakles multifunction radar, the Aster 15 and 30 surface to air missiles, the Excocet MM 40 anti-ship missiles or the MU 90 torpedo. The performance of its combat system are reinforced with increased radar and communication capacities, a new fire control radar, and a SETIS CMS fitted with specific anti-air defense functions.
- Overall length: 142 m
- Bearn: 20 m
- Displacement: 6,000 tonnes
- Max. speed: 27 knots
- Complement: 119 (+ 14 for the helicopter crew)
- Accommodation: 165 men and women
- Range: 6,000 at 15 knots