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Naval Group launches first French FDI frigate

The first FDI frigate on order for the French Navy was floated out at Naval Group's Lorient facility on 7 November. (Naval Group)

Naval Group launched the French Navy's first new defence and intervention frigate (Frégate de défense et d'intervention: FDI) , Amiral Ronarc'h, at its yard in Lorient on 7 November.

Amiral Ronarc'h is one of five FDI frigates being built by Naval Group for France under a contract awarded by the French defence procurement agency (DGA) in April 2017.

Under current planning, the first of class will start its first sea trials in 2023, with a view to being delivered in 2024. The four remaining frigates are expected to be delivered by 2030.

The FDI frigate has a standard displacement of 4,500 tonne and an overall length of 122 m, and can carry a crew complement of 125 in addition to 28 embarked forces. It has a top speed of 27 kt, a range of 5,000 n mile at 13 kt, and an endurance of 45 days. It is equipped with a hangar and a flight deck for a helicopter up to an NH90 Caiman size and an unmanned rotary vehicle.

Key features include an ‘inverted' bow for improved seakeeping, a reduced acoustic signature for anti-submarine warfare operations, and an integrated mast.

The frigates will also be equipped with Thales' new Sea Fire S-band fixed face active electronically scanned array radar, the CAPTAS-4 compact low-frequency variable depth sonar, and the Sentinel digital radar electronic support measures system.

Armament will include Exocet MM40 Block 3C anti-surface missiles, Aster 15/30 anti-air missiles, and MU90 anti-submarine torpedoes.

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