Naval Group press release
First sea trials for the last of the French FREMM series
Ordered by the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR), on behalf of the French Procurement Agency (DGA) and the French Navy, the FREMM DA Lorraine is the eighth and last multi-mission frigate to be built for the French Navy. It is also the second FREMM with enhanced air defence capabilities (FREMM DA).
Two hundred and fifty people are mobilized to prepare this first sea trial. This session will enable the performance of the ship’s propulsion and navigation systems to be tested. Several campaigns will then be carried out to test all the systems. FREMM DA Lorraine will then be delivered by the end of the year.
“This first sea trial is a very important moment, especially as this is the last frigate of the FREMM series. This is the first time the ship has been at sea. This milestone also symbolizes three years of preliminary work with our teams and partners. Thanks to exchanges since the beginning of this program in 2005, the FREMM DA Lorraine carries the most recent and efficient technologies on board”.
Didier Trehin, Naval Group’s on-board manager for this first campaign
After being launched in November 2020, the first sea trial of the FREMM DA Lorraine is taking place on schedule and in accordance with the company’s contractual commitment to deliver the ship in 2022. Naval Group’s teams and partners’ have been mobilized to meet this milestone despite the Covid crisis.
The FREMM program proceeds according to the schedule established by the last Military Planning Law (LPM). Seven FREMMs have already been delivered to the French Navy between 2012 and 2021. Aquitaine in 2012, Provence in 2015, Languedoc in 2016, Auvergne in April 2017, Bretagne in July 2018, Normandie in July 2019 and Alsace in April 2021. Internationally, the Mohammed VI was delivered to Morocco in 2014 and the Tahya Misr delivrerd to Egypt in 2015.
FREMM benefited from the program’s feedback, from the start of the construction
With 3,500 hours at sea per year, the FREMMs’ level of availability at sea is unmatched and is an
important source of information. The permanent dialogue between the navies, the DGA, the
OCCAR, as well as the construction and maintenance teams, enables Naval Group to propose
technologies adapted to the evolution of its customers’ operational needs.
As a result of this operational feedback, the FREMM DA Lorraine benefits from the deployment of new functions: enhanced cyber capabilities, deployment of Liaison 22 (link between NATO military units), reduced width mast, replacement of the optronic artillery fire control by a radar/optronic fire control, or the integration of a tactical table.
A polyvalent FREMM that has mobilized all the know-how of Naval Group and its industrial partners
Multi-mission frigates, designed and built by Naval Group, are polyvalent, stealthy and highly automated ships capable of responding to all types of air, sea, submarine or land threats.
The operational excellence of FREMMs is recognized worldwide, such as by the US Navy, whose 6th Fleet has awarded the Hook’em Award to four FREMMs for their excellence in anti-submarine warfare two years in a row.
A multi-mission frigate represents four million hours of work, about half of which benefits the supply chain and local actors. The design, construction and maintenance of FREMMs mobilize two hundred and fifty unique skills, some of which are so specific that they require up to eleven years of training (carpenter-sheet metal worker, hull welder, boilermaker, etc.).
The frigate will be based in Toulon alongside the FREMM DA Alsace to provide air defence for major units such as the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier or the amphibious helicopter carrier (PHA), as part of a naval or amphibious strike group. The FREMMs with enhanced air capabilities, Alsace and Lorraine, are thus able to carry out the same anti-submarine warfare missions as the other FREMMs in the series, in addition to their enhanced air capabilities.
The FREMM DA also use the most advanced weapons and equipment systems such as the Herakles multifunction radar supplied by Thales, the Aster 15 and 30 and Exocet MM 40 missiles, the MU 90 torpedoes and three additional Combat Management System Setis® consoles in the “central operations”. Like the other FREMMs, the Lorraine will carry the NH90 helicopter (Caiman Marine), whose use is supported by the SAMAHE® system supplied by Naval Group.
About FREMM DA
According to Naval Group, the FREMM DA Alsace and Lorraine are strongly armed surface combatants 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 Exocet MM 40 anti-ship missiles or the MU 90 torpedo. The performance of their 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.
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 with specific air defense functions
- Additional berthing
According to the French Navy’s FREMM program manager, the FREMM DA main mission will be area air defense 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 as part of an amphibious group.
Technical characteristics of the FREMM DA
- Overall length: 142 m
- Width: 20 m
- Displacement: 6,000 tons
- Max. speed: 27 knots
- Complement: 119 sailors (+ 14 for the aviation crew)
- Accommodation: 165 men and women
- Range: 6,000 at 15 knots
FREMM DA weapon systems
- 8 Exocet MM40 Block 3 anti-ship missiles
- 32 Aster missiles in Sylver® vertical launch systems
- One 76 mm main gun
- Four 12.7 mm machine guns
- 19 MU90 torpedoes
- One NH90 NFH maritime helicopter
- Two Narwhal 20 mm remotely operated guns