French Navy’s first FDI frigate hits the water

The first defence and intervention (FDI) frigate ordered by the French defence procurement agency (DGA) and destined for the French Navy was floated by French shipbuilder Naval Group.

The ceremony for the vessel Amiral Ronarc’h took place in Lorient on 7 November.

Photo: Naval Group

The FDI is a high-sea vessel. Multipurpose and resilient, it is capable of operating, alone or within a naval force. The ship offers capabilities for all types of warfare: anti-surface, anti-air, antisubmarine and as well as for special forces projection, according to Naval Group.

Designed and produced using the latest digital tools, FDI is the first frigate to benefit from a digital architecture that will allow her continuous adaptation to technological and operational evolutions. As a result, the FDI will be able to address current and future threats and handle more data.

The FDI will be the first French frigate natively protected against cyber threats, with two data centers virtually accommodating a great part of the ship applications.

Furthermore, the FDI introduces the concept of a dedicated system for asymmetric warfare. This system will enable the coordination and conduct of the fight against small and close air and surface threats, including booby trapped boats.

Strongly armed (Exocet MM40 B3C anti-surface missiles, Aster anti-air missiles, MU90 antisubmarine torpedoes, artillery), the FDI is able to embark simultaneously a helicopter (10 tons class such as NH90) or the future Joint Light Helicopter and an unmanned aerial vehicle (up to 700kg).

It can also receive a Special Forces detachment with their two commando boats. They are equipped with the new generation Seafire radar with four fixed panels, developed by Thales, which, combined with the missile delivery system, offers unmatched area defence capabilities.

Technical specifications:

  • displacement: 4,500 tons class;
  • length: 122 meters;
  • beam: 18 meters;
  • max. speed: 27 knots;
  • autonomy: 45 days;
  • accomodation: 125-persons crew + 28 passengers.

The first sea trials will begin in 2023 and the ship will be delivered in 2024. The remaining four ships of the series will be delivered until 2030.

During this period, Naval Group will also produce three FDI frigates for the Hellenic Navy, with a fourth currently planned as an option.

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