French Navy’s fifth FREMM frigate officially enters service

FS Bretagne, the French Navy’s fifth FREMM frigate, has officially entered service after completing its maiden deployment.

The French Navy admits ships into active service only after they complete their first operational tasking.

Anti-submarine warfare (ASW) configured FS Bretagne started construction in October 2013, launched in September 2016 and received its first commanding officer on September 20, 2017. It took to sea for the first time in May 2018.

Bretagne started its first deployment in August 2018, taking part in ASW drills with the US Navy and joining the NATO-led exercise Trident Juncture off Norway. The frigate wrapped up its maiden deployment after three months of operations.

Bretagne is the fifth of overall eight ships in its class. The remaining three ships, Normandy, Alsace and Lorraine, will follow between 2019 and 2023. The final two ships are to have enhanced air-defense capabilities.

FREMM frigates are built within the international Italian-French program, coordinated by OCCAR (the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation).

The 142-meter long ships are equipped with the Aster and Exocet MM 40 missiles and 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.

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