For the record, Amiral Ronarc’h was “officially launched” during a ceremony held on 7 November 2022. However, the event was a only partial launch: The covered construction dock where the first FDI frigate took shape was flooded. The hull of the first-in-class ship was not taken out to the outfitting pier due to weather conditions.
Photos shared on social media show that this critical phase was conducted three days after the ceremony. The information was confirmed by Naval Group, who shared additional pictures with us (see below). What’s more: the PSIM was fitted on the same day, highlighting once again how quickly the shipbuilder is moving with this program. There are now three vessels outfitting in Lorient: Two Gowind corvettes for the UAE Navy and one FDI. One additional frigate, the frist FDI HN for the Hellenic Navy, is taking shape in the dry dock. Her keel was laid last month.
Naval News, who attended the event on 7 November (check out our video above), went back to the shipyard on 12 November to see the next generation frigate of the French Navy (Marine Nationale) taking shape, with her quite unique inverted bow and integrated mast in place.
The PSIM (Panoramic Sensors and Intelligence Module) was developed by Naval Group, initially for the Gowind corvette program. It brings increased operational performance and better control of costs and lead times:
1- The module includes almost all the sensor systems of the ship (in the case of the FDI, from top to bottom:
- SeaFire radar arrays
- Optronic systems
- Navigation radars
- UHF communication antennas
- Electronic Warfare (such as the C-ESM Altesse H antenna)
2- The module is produced independently from the hull and well ahead of the sea trials: It can be powered-up, test or even used for training while on shore. Almost all the combat system of the frigate can be pre-integrated months before the launch of the ship.