French shipbuilder Naval Group on February 1 launched the French Navy’s sixth FREMM frigate ‘Normandie’.
The shipbuilder floated out its overall eight FREMM vessel 12 months after the start of hull assembly in the building dock on the Lorient site.
This launch brought the company a step closer to the milestone of delivering six anti-submarine FREMMs to the French Navy by 2019, as set out in the French Military Programming Law 2014-2019.
Normandie is set to leave the dock in autumn to undergo its first sea trials before delivery to the French Navy, foreseen in summer 2019.
Six FREMM frigates were already delivered between 2012 and 2017. The Aquitaine in 2012, the Provence in 2015, the Languedoc in 2016 and last but not least the Auvergne in April 2017. On the international market, Morocco took delivery of the Mohammed VI in 2014 and Egypt took delivery of the Tahya Misr in 2015.
The FREMM Bretagne, floated in September 2016, will be transferred to Brest, where it will be based, in the second quarter 2018.
The two final frigates, Alsace and Lorraine, will be delivered to the French Navy before the end of 2022, according to Naval Group. These frigates will be equipped with strengthened air defense capacities. The assembly of the FREMM Alsace in the Lorient building dock will start in spring 2018.
FREMM frigates are built within the international Italian-French program, coordinated by OCCAR (the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation).
Italy is building four anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and six general-purpose variants, while France will have six ASW and two anti-air warfare variants.
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.