France pinpoints three La Fayette frigates for mid-life upgrades

Photo: French Navy

The French defense ministry has pinpointed three Marine Nationale La Fayette-class frigates (FLF) that will be receiving mid-life upgrades.

From 2021, the lead ship FS La Fayette, along with third and fourth ships in the class, FS Courbet and FS Aconit, will benefit from an upgraded ships’ platform and combat systems.

The navy operates a total of five ships in the class.

One of the highlights of this overhaul will be the addition of a hull sonar, the ministry said, giving the three FLFs new capabilities to fight under the sea.

Other improvements will include the installation of a Sadral close-in weapon system armed with Mistral missiles, replacing the current Crotale.

Work will include renovation of electronic and IT systems used to manage the vessel’s installations (propulsion, steering gear, power generation…). The frigates’ current combat command system will be replaced by a version derived from the one used on the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier, and the tactical data links will be modernized.

The upgrades, which will take place in Toulon, will allow the ships to remain in service beyond 2030.

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