Naval Group has launched the seventh multi-mission FREMM frigate for the French Navy from a specialist facility in Lorient.

Known as Alsace, the vessel is the first of the two air defence frigates under the FREMM programme for the French Navy and the ninth multi-missions FREMM frigate.

The vessel was ordered by the OCCAr on behalf of French procurement agency DGA and is equipped with antisubmarine warfare capability and offers increased capacities in terms of air defence using the Aster 15 and 30 missiles.

FREMM DA programme director Pierre-Jean Cuisinier said: “The essential of the architecture of the first FREMM designed by Naval Group is conserved but its polyvalence will be increased by enhanced capacities in terms of anti-aerial warfare. These modifications particularly concern the combat system.”

Naval Group has incorporated some modifications, including the more powerful Herakles multifunction radar, reinforced communication tools, three additional consoles for the Combat Management System SETIS.

“These modifications particularly concern the combat system.”

Alsace will also soon receive a new mast that will be optimised to increase the detection performances.

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FREMM programmes director Nicolas Gaspard said: “This ninth launching is scoring the collaboration between Naval Group, the DGA, the OCCAr and the French Navy in order to produce ships benefitting from the continuous enhancement of the already produced FREMM.”

The 142m frigate is also armed with the Excocet MM 40 missiles or even the MU 90 torpedo.

It has the ability to achieve speeds of 27k and can accommodate 165 personnel.

Naval Group and its partners aim to deliver the Alsace in 2021. The second anti-air defence frigate is scheduled to be delivered in 2022.

FREMM is a joint programme between France and Italy.