France celebrates end of construction of 6th FREMM frigate

The French Navy celebrated the completion of the construction of its sixth multi-mission frigate, FREMM Normandie, in Lorient on June 25.

Photo: Naval Group

As explained, the celebration marked not only the end of work on the six FREMM frigates but also the beginning of the manufacturing of the FREMM frigates with reinforced air defense capabilities and of the defence and intervention frigate (FDI), the first fully digital warships.

Hervé Guillou, CEO of Naval Group, and Admiral Christophe Prazuck, Chief of Staff of the French Navy, hosted Florence Parly, the French Minister of the Armed Forces, on board the Normandie frigate for a visit. This warship was delivered in a record time of 40 months, the shortest completion time of the whole multi-mission frigates program.

Florence Parly and Hervé Guillou had the opportunity to discuss the ongoing and future surface ships programs built in Lorient: FREMM, FDI and aircraft carriers.

“We are proud to meet the expectations set by the Millitary Programming Law. Today, with the completion of the FREMM Normandie, Naval Group has fulfilled its commitment,” Guillou commented.

The Normandie, which has a length of 142 meters and a width of 20 meters, will soon be delivered in Brest. With a displacement of 6,000 tons, the newbuild can reach a maximum speed of 27 knots. Equipped with environmentally-friendly technologies, it can accommodate 123 persons on board of which 14 are dedicated to the helicopter detachment.

The international Italian-French program is managed by the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR) on behalf of – in France – the French Navy and of the French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA).

The French Navy has so far received five frigates in the class, Aquitaine, Provence, Languedoc, Auvergne and Bretagne, and will operate a total of eight units.

The shipbuilder revealed that the construction of two multi-mission frigates with renewed anti-air defence capacities – the Alsace and the Lorraine – will begin in Lorient. They will be respectively delivered in 2021 and 2022, Naval Group said.

Furthermore, Naval Group teams are already launching the program for defense and intervention frigates (FDI) that will be delivered from 2023 onward. This first “fully digital” warship is to benefit from the latest digital technologies, with the first cut of steel-sheets expected in October 2019.