France: FREMM Frigate Aquitine Completes Three Weeks of Sea Trials

FREMM Frigate Aquitine Completes Three Weeks of Sea Trials

FREMM frigate Aquitaine berthed at DCNS’s Lorient shipyard on Friday 25 November after three weeks of successful sea trials, during which DCNS teams pursued integration and testing of the combat system under the supervision of the French defence procurement agency (DGA). The ship is to be delivered to the French Navy in the third quarter of 2012.

The trials were conducted in the Atlantic off Lorient and off Groix Island in the Bay of Biscay. The Aquitaine was crewed by French Navy personnel, with staff from DCNS conducting the tests under the supervision of representatives of the DGA and of OCCAR, the contracting agency for the FREMM programme. The work included further testing of the combat system, in particular to verify the performance of the sonar suite and continue integration of the communication systems.

Following the trials, the ship made its first call at its future home port of Brest to test interfaces with the port’s communication systems and mooring facilities.

This fourth series of trials confirms that the first FREMM frigate is meeting its milestones: all the systems tested to date have met the customer’s requirements,” said Vincent Martinot-Lagarde, FREMM programme manager. “Each successive series of tests with the Aquitaine has confirmed that the programme is on track in every respect.

The success of the Aquitaine’s latest trials comes as DCNS continues to ramp up construction of the state-of-the-art FREMM frigates. With the first steel now cut for the Languedoc, a total of five FREMM frigates (Aquitaine, Mohammed VI, Normandie, Provence and Languedoc) are now at different stages of construction at the DCNS shipyard in Lorient.

With five FREMM frigates under construction at the same time, DCNS is successfully stepping up to another major challenge in naval shipbuilding,” added Vincent Martinot-Lagarde. “Importantly, the programme is also proceeding exactly on schedule and on budget as we move into full-scale series production.”

Naval Today Staff, December 01, 2011; Image: DCNS