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Naval Group delivers first FREMM air-defence frigate to French Navy

French shipbuilder Naval Group delivered France’s first Aquitaine-class FREMM multimission frigate enhanced with air-defence capabilities on 16 April.

         the first of two FREMM DA frigates enhanced with air-defence capabilities.
       (Naval Group)

Alsace: the first of two FREMM DA frigates enhanced with air-defence capabilities. (Naval Group)

Alsace, which is the seventh of eight planned Aquitaine-class frigates, was handed over to the European defence procurement body Organisation for Joint Armament Co-operation (OCCAR) on behalf of the French procurement agency (DGA) during a ceremony held at the French Navy’s Toulon Naval Base in southern France.

Under the French Navy’s FREMM programme, the first six ships delivered by Naval Group were built as anti-submarine warfare (ASW) variants, while Alsace and eighth ship Lorraine are being built to a modified FREMM DA (défense aérienne) standard.

The FREMM DA frigates retain the core ASW sensor fit of the first six vessels, including the UMS 4110 CL hull-mounted sonar and CAPTAS-4 low-frequency active/passive variable depth sonar, but will not be equipped to fire the MdCN cruise missile.

The FREMM DA variant is instead equipped with four eight-cell Sylver A50 vertical launch systems in place of the A43/A70 short/long mix found on the ASW variants to accommodate up to 32 Aster 15/30 anti-air missiles.

Other notable changes include an extended-range variant of the Thales Herakles E/F-band multifunction radar, a Thales Nederland STIR EO MK 2 radar/electro-optical tracker, and Naval Group’s SETIS combat management system equipped with specific air-defence functions.

Under current planning, Lorraine is scheduled for delivery in the latter part of 2022.

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