The French Navy has deployed its second frégate Européen multi-mission (FREMM) frigate, Provence, into active duty.
Established in 2002, the FREMM programme is a joint cooperation agreement between France and Italy.
Under the programme, a total of 21 FREMM frigates will be built, of which ten are for the Italian Navy and 11 for the French Navy.
Last year, Provence joined the US Navy aircraft carrier Harry S Truman carrier strike group (CSG) as part of Task Force 58 near the Strait of Hormuz.
The frigate also joined the French CSG, along with aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, which was deployed in the Persian Gulf to support the fight against ISIS.
The 142m-long and 20m-wide FREMM frigates have a displacement capacity of 6,000t and can accommodate 145 men and women.
The vessels can cruise at a maximum speed of 27k, and have a range of 6,000nm at 15k speed.
The FREMMs are heavily armed, with weapon systems and equipment such as the Herakles multifunction radar, Exocet MM40 anti-ship missiles, Aster anti-aircraft missiles, or the MU90 anti-submarine torpedoes.
Additionally, these vessels have the capacity to accommodate a Caiman marine helicopter, as well as Special Forces and their equipment.
Image: The French Navy's second FREMM frigate, Provence. Photo: courtesy of French Navy.