The Royal Moroccan Navy’s third multi-mission Sigma-class frigate has successfully completed sea acceptance trials (SATs) conducted by Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding (DSNS) in the North Sea.

During the SATs, the 98m-long frigate, along with its complete suite of sensor weapons and communications systems, was extensively tested in cooperation with the Moroccan Navy and the Royal Netherlands Navy.

The Moroccan Navy had signed a $1.2bn contract signed with DSNS to build two light frigates SIGMA 9813 and one light frigate SIGMA 10145, which are modified versions of the existing Sigma-class design.

Based on DSNS’s Sigma-approach, the three frigates are an advanced variant of the Sigma corvettes that are built for the Indonesian Navy and have been designed to support traditional naval tasks and maritime security operations, as well as humanitarian aid operations for the navy.

Capable of carrying a crew of 91, the 97.9m-long Sigma-class frigate has a displacement capacity of 2,075t, a beam of 13.02m and a draft of 3.75m.

Powered by two SEMT Pielstick diesel engines, the Sigma-class frigate is integrated with MBDA-supplied MM40 Exocet surface-to-surface missiles and an Oto Melara 76mm main gun.

The propulsion and sea keeping capabilities of the Sigma-class frigate enable it to conduct maritime patrols and surveillance in exclusive economic zones, while making it well suited for Moroccan territorial water operations.

The first SIGMA frigate, Tarik Ben Zayid (F-613), was commissioned on 10 September 2011 and the second frigate, Sultan Moulay Ismail (F-614), was commissioned in March this year.

The third frigate is scheduled for delivery in September 2012.

DSNS is currently building the frigates in Vlissingen, Netherlands, as part of the Moroccan Navy plans to modernise its fleet and extend its patrol capabilities.