French Navy’s fourth FREMM frigate starts sea trials

French shipbuilder DCNS has informed that the fourth French Navy FREMM frigate, FS Auvergne, started sea trials on September 26.

Auvergne left the shipyard just days after DCNS launched the fifth of overall eight frigates the French Navy is to acquire.

In its first out at sea, the new frigate will spend six weeks underway instead of eight to nine weeks of trials the previous ships in the class had to undergo. The shipbuilder attributes this improvement to the streamlining of processes.

DCNS currently has two frigates and one Gowind corvette under construction and at different completion stages at its Lorient shipyard. FREMM Bretagne was floated September 16 while Normandie is ready for assembly.

According to DCNS, the 142-meter ships are equipped with the Herakles multifunction radar, the naval cruise missile (MdCN) and the Aster and Exocet MM 40 missiles or the MU 90 torpedoes. They can reach maximum speeds of 27 knots and have a range of 6,000 miles at a speed of 15 knots. The ships can be operated by a crew of 108, with the helicopter detachment included.