The French Navy's first frégate Européen multi-mission (FREMM) frigate, Aquitaine, has entered into operational service.
The frigate was admitted to active service on 2 December by chief of the navy staff admiral Bernard Rogel.
In 2016, Aquitaine will be deployed as part of the carrier battle group around the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle.
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 European Joint Armament Cooperation Organisation, OCCAR, is responsible for the delivery contract of 11 FREMM frigates to the French Navy.
DCNS has been contracted to build 12 FREMM ships, with 11 of those for the French Navy and one reserved for the Royal Moroccan Navy.
The French frigates are being built in two mission versions, the land attack version and an anti-submarine warfare version.
In October, DCNS commenced sea trials of the latest French FREMM frigate, Languedoc, off the coast of Brittany, France.
The French Navy is expected to receive eight FREMM vessels by 2020. The capabilities of the French navy will be boosted by FREMM multi-mission frigates, the Cayman Marine naval helicopter, and the MdCN naval cruise missile.
Image: The FREMM frigate Aquitaine. Photo: courtesy of FR MoD photo.