French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly has announced that the Aquitaine-class frigate Alsace is ready for operations.
Alsace is a frigate of the French Navy developed through the Frégate Européenne Multi-Missions (FREMM) multipurpose frigate programme.
It is the first of two air-defence variants of the FREMM class. The other variant is Lorraine.
The FREMM European multi-mission frigate is a joint programme between France and Italy. It will build 21 FREMM frigates for the French Navy and the Italian Navy.
Parly posted on Twitter: “The multi-mission frigate Alsace is ready for operations. It belongs to a class of frigates recognised worldwide for its combat capabilities.
“The renewal of the Marine Nationale equipment is essential in the current strategic environment.
“To protect our coasts and our exclusive economic zone, in the face of obstacles to freedom of navigation, in the face of attempted intimidation at sea, in the face of the desire to deny access to certain areas, France needs a strong, efficient and credible navy”.
Alsace’s operational capabilities were validated on 17 November with the firing of an Aster 30 anti-aircraft missile. This marked the ship’s transition to active service.
Besides providing anti-air, anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capabilities, FREMM frigates offer interoperability and operational readiness. The frigates can respond to air, sea and land-based threats.
Alsace was launched in April 2019 at the Naval Group shipyard of Lorient, just thirteen months after its keel laying took place.
In April this year, it was delivered to the French Navy base in Toulon.