France’s FREMM frigate Aquitaine completes torpedo launch trials

2 July 2012 (Last Updated July 2nd, 2012 03:50)

The French Navy and DCNS have successfully conducted the first MU90 lightweight torpedo launch test aboard the French FREMM multi-mission frigate, Aquitaine.

The French FREMM frigate, AquitaineThe French Navy and DCNS have successfully conducted the first MU90 lightweight torpedo launch test aboard the French FREMM multi-mission frigate, Aquitaine.

FREMM programme manager Vincent Martinot-Lagarde said that the first-of-class FREMM multi-mission frigate Aquitaine had been designed to face all types of threats.

"The success of the first torpedo launch test is an important milestone as it confirms the ASW capabilities of the ship and her combat system, which was designed, developed and produced by DCNS," he said.

During the trials in operational conditions, conducted in cooperation with the French defence procurement agency (DGA), the ship launched its torpedo, equipped with sensors and data loggers instead of a warhead.

Following the torpedo tube configuration and dry-run tests, the trials validated the ship's torpedo tube configuration's compliance with the relevant specifications, while the torpedo's onboard sensors confirmed all parameters, including exit speed, angle of impact with the water, and torpedo behaviour and trajectory.

The FREMM frigate demonstrated its deck landing capabilities with a Caiman Marine (NH90) heavy lift helicopter in March.

"The success of the first torpedo launch test is an important milestone as it confirms the ASW capabilities of the ship and her combat system."

Capable of accommodating a crew of 145 with a complement crew of 108, the 142m-long Aquitaine has a displacement capacity of 6,000t, can cruise at a speed of 27k and has a range of 15k.

Armed with Herakles multifunction radar, MdCN cruise missiles, Aster anti-air missiles and Exocet MM40 anti-ship missiles, the FREMM frigates have been designed to counter threats from air, sea and land.

Under the FREMM naval programme, France will acquire 11 frigates with a further ten vessels designated for Italy.

Launched in April 2010, the FREMM frigate Aquitaine is scheduled for delivery to the French navy this month.


Image: The French FREMM frigate Aquitaine can carry up to 19 MU90 torpedoes. Photo: courtesy of DCNS.