The French Defence Ministry has contracted DCNS to develop and build five intermediate-size frigates (FTIs) for the French Navy.

DCNS will propose a French version of its new BELH@RRA frigate as part of the new deal.

The first of the five FTIs from the French Direction générale de l'armement (DGA) managed programme is slated to be delivered in 2023, and is expected to enter into service in 2025.

The design and development of the BELH@RRA frigate will be carried out collaboratively with France-based electrical systems company Thales, which will supply the vessels with the latest and advanced radar capabilities.

DCNS chairman and chief executive officer Hervé Guillou said: “DCNS is proud to contribute, alongside Thales, to the renewal of the French naval forces thanks to a new vessel responding to the needs of a world-class navy.

"DCNS is proud to contribute to the renewal of the French naval forces thanks to a new vessel responding to the needs of a world-class navy."

“It is key component of our range of military vessels and the attribution of this contract also allows us to develop a frigate that addresses the expectations of a dynamic international market.”

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The French version of the BELH@RRA frigate will feature a displacement of 4,000t and be used for anti-submarine warfare. The vessel will be specifically optimised to address a wide range of French naval requirements.

It be equipped with extended self-defence and special forces projection capacities, in addition to the new Thales Sea Fire four flat antenna radar and the Aster 30 missiles.

The frigates will also be integrated with latest combat systems to facilitate greater rapidity for tactical analysis, decision making and weapons deployment.

Image: DCNS’s new BELH@RRA frigate. Photo: ©DCNS.