Naval Group has officially launched the first defence and intervention frigate (FDI), named Amiral Ronarc’h, for the French Navy.

A ceremony to mark the vessel’s launch was held at the company’s facility in Lorient, France on 7 November.

It was attended by various officials, including French Armed Forces Minister Sébastien Lecornu and Hellenic Defence Minister Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos.

The newly launched vessel will now undergo a series of sea trials scheduled to commence next year.

Delivery of this frigate is expected to take place by 2024. 

Naval Group CEO Pierre Eric Pommellet said: “We are proud to be here today to mark this new milestone in the industrial production of the first defence and intervention frigate for the French Navy.

“The navies operating them will benefit from a high-performance, resilient ship, capable of dealing with threats that are constantly evolving, thanks in particular to the use of the most modern digital technologies.”

The order for the first two FDI frigates was placed by Defence Procurement Agency (Direction générale de l’armement – DGA) in March 2021.

It was followed by the start of construction of the first FDI vessel in December last year.

The company is anticipated to deliver all five warships under the FDI programme by 2030.

The 122m-long multi-purpose FDI vessels have been designed and developed using several digital tools and technologies.

The FDI frigates are the first natively protected vessels to counter cyber threats and a large part of the ship’s applications will be virtually managed by two data centres.

It will be deployed to perform a wide range of operations at the sea, including anti-submarine, anti-air, anti-surface warfare and other special forces projection missions.