DCNS has successfully delivered the first frégate Européen multi-mission (FREMM) frigate, Aquitaine, to the French defence procurement agency (DGA) at its Lorient shipyard facility, France.
The DGA was represented by European Joint Armament Cooperation Organisation, OCCAR, which on behalf of the agency is responsible for the delivery contract of 11 FREMM frigates to the French Navy.
DCNS is under contract to build 12 FREMM ships, with 11 of those for the French Navy and one reserved for the Royal Moroccan Navy.
Two of the 12 frigates will be equipped with torpedoes, vertical-launch self-defence missiles and active towed array sonar, while the remaining ships will feature ASW and shore bombardment enhanced capabilities.
Capable of accommodating a crew of 145, the 142m-long Aquitaine has a displacement capacity of 6,000t, can cruise at a speed of 27k and has a range of 15km.
The FREMM frigates can counter threats from air, sea and land using Herakles 3D S-band multifunction surveillance radar, MdCN cruise missiles, Aster anti-air missiles and Exocet MM40 anti-ship missiles.
As well as offering unparalleled levels of interoperability and readiness, FREMM frigates provide anti-air, anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare capabilities.
Powered by an LM2500+ gas turbine, the vessels feature surveillance and communications suites, including Thales Artemis infra-red search and track (IRST) system and fire control radar, as well as an Oto Melara medium calibre 76/62 Super Rapid naval gun.
The second FREMM vessel, Mohammed VI, is expected to be delivered to the Royal Moroccan Navy in 2013, while the third ship of the class, Normandie, is currently undergoing outfitting.
The fourth fifth and sixth frigates are under various stages of construction.
Image: DCNS-built FREMM frigate at a shipyard. Photo: courtesy of DCNS.