The French Navy’s second Aquitaine-class Frégate Européenne Multi-Missions (FREMM) frigate, Provence (D 652), is reportedly set to reach its full operational capability.
IHS Jane’s reported that the frigate is nearing completion of its five-month deployment to test its capabilities at Singapore’s Changi Naval Base.
Upon completion of deployment, the D 652 frigate will enter full service in April. The 142m-long frigate will become operational after it returns to its home port of Brest in western France.
Construction on the vessel began in December 2010 and it was delivered to the navy in June last year.
Captain Dominique Caillé was quoted by IHS Jane’s as saying: "We are engaged in a deployment to assess its readiness, although in a heavily loaded operational environment.
"For example, we were engaged in the Gulf [in January] working with the French and US carrier strike groups and it makes a real difference to test the ship’s capabilities in the real world environment so we know exactly what is working and what needs to be adjusted."
Last month, the frigate also completed a two-day anti-submarine warfare (ASW) exercise with the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) in the waters of the South China Sea off the northern coast of Sabah, East Malaysia.
DCNS is under contract to build 12 FREMM vessels, with 11 vessels for the French Navy, and one for the Royal Moroccan Navy.
In addition to providing anti-air, anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare capabilities, FREMM frigates offer high levels of interoperability and readiness. They also can also respond to threats from the air, sea and land.
Capable of accommodating a crew of 145, the French frigate has a displacement capacity of 6,000t and can cruise at a speed of 27k.