The French Navy’s first French Frégate européenne multi-mission (FREMM) frigate Aquitaine has successfully fired its first Exocet MM40 surface-to-surface missile and a naval cruise missile.
Aquitaine is claimed to be the first European surface ship to fire a European cruise missile.
Both the missiles were fired from the firing ranges of the French DGA missile testing centre off of Levant Island.
The firings were prepared by the crew of the French Navy, the DGA teams and manufacturers MBDA and DCNS.
This new development is part of the technical capabilities verification of the FREMMs before they enter into active service.
The naval cruise missile will provide navy forces with deep strike capabilities within enemy territory. The missiles will be able to destroy infrastructure targets of high strategic value due to its range of several hundred kilometres.
The FREMM is a joint programme between France and Italy, which aims to build 21 frigates for their navies. The prime contractors for the programme are Armaris of France and Orizzonte Sistemi Navali of Italy.
The 140m-long and 20m-wide frigates have a displacement of 6,000t and are capable of accommodating 108 officers and crew.
These FREMMs are capable of carrying naval cruise missiles, Exocet MM40 anti-ship missiles, Aster anti-aircraft missiles and MU90 anti-submarine torpedoes.
In addition, these vessels will have a capacity to accommodate a Caiman marine helicopter, as well as Special Forces and their equipment.
Image: French Navy’s Aquitaine became the first European surface ship that fired a European cruise missile. Photo: Copyright DGA EM.