France: FREMM Normandie Wraps Up 3rd Sea Trial Round
The FREMM Normandie returned to port on Saturday 8 March on the DCNS site in Lorient, at the end of its third series of sea trials.
This frigate is the second of the series ordered by the French DGA (General Directorate for Armament) for the French Navy. OCCAR is the contracting agency for the FREMM program on behalf of France and Italy.
Another series of trials for the FREMM Normandie, conducted off the Brittany coast and lasting one week was completed on 8 March. These trials allowed the DCNS teams to pursue their verification of vessel platform performance as well as the performance of certain combat-system sensors. Two initial phases of frigate testing already took place in November 2012 and January 2013.
With regard to the platform, the trials are focused on the propulsion system and, in particular, on the CODLOG (COmbined Diesel eLectric Or Gas) hybrid system. This propulsion system allows the FREMMs to advance silently at low speed – thanks to the electric motors – or reach speeds in excess of 27 knots thanks to the vessel’s gas turbine. In addition to these propulsion tests, the DCNS teams also verified the navigation systems (speed calculations, position, bearing) as well as the inertial units, which allow a very precise positioning of the vessel whatever its location on the oceans.
These trials also allowed the French Navy crew and DCNS specialists to check the performance of the functions of certain combat-system sensors, as well as the Syracuse communication station.
During previous trials carried out in January, the frigate also made its first stopover in Brest, which allowed the verification of the proper operation of the interfaces between the frigate and the port installations with regard to shore communications, docking and utility connections.
Currently, the FREMM Normandie is docked in Lorient for different interventions. It will sail again in a few weeks for a new series of trials.
|FREMM FRIGATE SPECIFICATIONS|
|Range||6,000 nm (11,000 km (6,800 mi)) at 15 knots|
Press Release, March 13, 2014; Image: DCNS