FREMM frigate Normandie, the second of the Aquitaine class for the French Navy, was put to sea for the first time on 25 October. This milestone marks the beginning of the ship’s sea trials, which will take place off Brittany and are expected to last several weeks.
The main aim of these preliminary trials is to test the performance of the ship’s propulsion and navigation systems.
“This milestone represents the culmination of the combined efforts of many people working towards common goals, including DCNS personnel, teams provided by DCNS partners and suppliers, the French Navy crew and representatives of the French defence procurement agency (DGA) and the European Joint Armament Cooperation Organisation (OCCAr),” saidFREMM programme manager Anne Bianchi. “The construction of this second-of-class FREMM frigate for the French Navy is proceeding on schedule and on budget. FREMM frigates are among the most technologically advanced and competitively priced on the world market. Thanks to their many innovations, FREMM multimission frigates can respond to all types of threats with unparalleled flexibility and availability.”
Tests will be conducted at a sustained pace during the day and at night. The first three days will be devoted to the ‘familiarisation’ phase during which the crew and other personnel will test the ship’s safety systems and equipment, including fire-fighting, flood control and emergency response systems and evacuation procedures as well as manoeuvrability and mooring performance.
The following tests will focus on the propulsion system. The FREMM’s high-performance hybrid CODLOG (COmbined Diesel eLectric Or Gas) power package combines a gas turbine for mechanical propulsion at speeds exceeding 27 knots and electric motors for quiet, low-speed propulsion. This phase will also include extensive testing of the ship’s navigation (log, position, heading) and other basic systems.
On completing these preliminary trials, FREMM frigate Normandie will return to DCNS’s Lorient shipyard for several weeks of quayside work. In early 2014, the ship will put to sea for a second series of trials focusing on the combat system.
Press Release, October 28, 2013; Image: DCNS