France starts construction of five FTI frigates

French Minister of Defense Jean-Yves Le Drian on Friday authorized shipbuilder DCNS to start the construction of five FTI (Fregate de Taille Intermediaire) medium-size frigates for the French Navy.

The 4,000-tonne front-line frigates, equipped for anti-submarine warfare with widened self-defence and commando-projection capacities, are set to start deliveries in 2023.

The first FTI frigate is expected to be commissioned in 2025.

DCNS’ partner in the construction, Thales, will be equipping the frigates with on-board equipment including their Sea Fire radar and the Captas variable depth sonar.

The new frigates, with an inverted bow design for greater stability at high speeds, are positioned between the 6,000-tonne FREMM multi-mission frigate and the 2,500- to 3,000-tonne Gowind corvettes. The FTIs are expected to replace the insufficiently armed La Fayette-class light frigates.

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