Naval Group announces the successful completion of a modernisation programme for the La Fayette frigates, marking a step towards enhancing France’s naval combat readiness. 

Naval Group, a global player in naval defence, has announced the conclusion of a modernisation initiative aimed at bolstering the combat capabilities of the La Fayette frigates. The project, commissioned by the French General Armament Directorate (DGA) in 2017, saw the refurbishment of the three frigates – Courbet, La Fayette, and Aconit – to equip them with anti-submarine warfare capabilities.

The French Navy has five of the La Fayette-class frigates in their fleet. All were acquired between 1992 and 1992 from Naval Group, as per GlobalData’s “France Defense Market 2023-2038” report.

The recent completion of the modernisation of the third and final frigate, the Aconit, marks the culmination of six months of work followed by dockside and sea trials. The upgraded vessels now have anti-submarine warfare capabilities, ensuring their readiness to carry out missions for the next five years.

Central to the modernisation effort was overhauling the frigates’ combat systems, with Naval Group replacing the original system with the SENIT system. Additionally, optronic surveillance capabilities were renewed, structural strength and stability were enhanced, and the Crotale anti-air defence system was replaced with two Sadral systems armed with the latest-generation Mistral, very short-range ground-to-air missiles. Incorporating a hull sonar has fortified the frigates’ anti-submarine warfare capabilities.

The successful sea trials following the modernisation attest to the ships’ manoeuvrability, acoustic discretion, and adherence to maximum speed targets. Furthermore, integrating the sonar and the new combat steering system has improved performance, reinforcing the frigates’ combat readiness.

Naval Group’s execution of this modernisation project shows the company’s commitment to supporting navies in France and worldwide throughout the life cycle of their fleets.

With 4.3% of the European naval vessels and surface combatants market, Naval Group is projected to be the second largest player in the region, according to GlobalData’s “The Global Naval Vessels and Surface Combatants Market 2023-2033” report. 

The company is expected to garner business of $6bn over the forecast period owing to its contracts for the Belharra-class frigate procured by the Hellenic Navy and the Defense and Intervention Frigate (FDI), which the French Navy is procuring.

Naval Group continues to manage programmes and maintain more than 20 in-service support programmes. Naval Group reaffirms its position as a global player in naval defence through strategic partnerships.