Naval Group has commenced the process of selecting industrial suppliers and subcontractors for the development of the French Navy’s five future intermediate-size frigates.

Naval Group was originally awarded the primary contract for the project by the French Defence Procurement Agency, Direction générale de l’armement (DGA), in April last year.

The first of the five future intermediate-size vessels is currently slated to be delivered to the navy in 2023.

Naval Group purchasing director Frédéric Massa said: “We expect a lot from our suppliers.

“Their innovative and competitive solutions will contribute to delivering technological superiority in the theatre of operations.

"We expect a lot from our suppliers. Their innovative and competitive solutions will contribute to delivering technological superiority in the theatre of operations."

“The success of the programme is dependent on them fulfilling their commitments: timely delivery of input data and equipment for which they are responsible, with the expected quality level.

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“We therefore selected them for their capacity to deliver on this strategic programme for France.”

The main suppliers to be selected by the company so far include Axima, Constructions industrielles de la Méditerranée (CNIM), Ixblue, Leonardo, MBDA, MTU, Safran Electronics & Defense and Thales.

The French variant of the Belh@rra frigate will feature an approximate displacement of 4,000t.

It has been specifically designed to carry out anti-submarine warfare missions, as well as address several of the French Navy’s operational requirements.

The French Navy frigates are set to be equipped with extended self-defence and special forces projection capabilities upon completion.

In addition, the vessels will be integrated with new Sea Fire four flat antenna radars, which are to be provided by Thales.

They will also feature reconfigurable firing installations for MBDA’s Aster 30 and Exocet missiles.

Naval Group possesses a total workforce of 13,429 employees and primarily designs, constructs and supports submarines and surface vessels for naval forces.

The company also provides a portfolio of services to shipyards and naval bases.