Tag Archives: Frégate de Défense et d’Intervention (FDI)

For defence and intervention

On Thursday 16 December in Lorient, Naval Group laid the keel of the first defence and intervention frigate (FDI) Amiral Ronarc’h ordered by the French defence procurement agency (DGA) and destined to the French Navy. This step marks the beginning of the assembly of the ship in the construction hall. The frigate will be delivered in 2024. It is the first of a series of five ships to be delivered between 2024 and 2030.

Amiral Ronarc'h
Naval Group lays the keel of the first defence and intervention frigate (FDI)

On the same day, the Panoramic Sensors and Intelligence Module (PSIM), the integrated mast of the FDI, was also powered up. This important milestone symbolises the start of the testing of the frigate’s complete combat system, several months before its final integration on the ship.

Pierre Eric Pommellet, CEO of Naval Group, said: «We are proud to be here today to mark this major milestone in the industrial production of the first defence and intervention frigate for the French Navy. These multi-role, cyber-secure and scalable ships will ensure the superiority of information and engagement as well as the ability to last at sea of the naval forces that will operate them. Already chosen by Greece for its Navy, this ship will also enable Naval Group to develop its international outreach. We remain fully committed to empower the sovereignty of France and our partner countries».

 

Intense industrial activity at the Naval Group Lorient site: designer, builder and integrator of the ship

Five FDI frigates intended will be ordered by the French defence procurement agency (DGA) for the French Navy. This program reinforces the technological lead of the French naval industrial base, and of Naval Group in particular.

The first of the series will be named Amiral Ronarc’h, after a great admiral, Chief of Staff of the French Navy between 1919 and 1920, who distinguished himself during the First World War at the head of marines and sailors.

The FDI program will support employment in the shipbuilding industry throughout France and, more particularly, in Lorient and its Naval Group site.

Industrial key figures:

  • 100% digital conception – zero paper plans;
  • redundant and distributed IT architecture based on two data centres;
  • 1 million hours of production work for each unit of the series at Naval Group Lorient site;
  • 1 million hours of conception and development for the program;
  • more than 1,200 Naval Group staff working full time on the programme;
  • 400 subcontractors.

 

Many export opportunities

Naval Group is positioned on the segment of intermediary tonnage ships with Belh@rra, the name of the FDI frigate for export markets.

Following the signature on 28 September 2021 of a memorandum of understanding by the Greek Minister of Defence, Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos, Pierre Eric Pommellet, CEO of Naval Group and Eric Béranger, CEO of MBDA, negotiations are underway for the acquisition by Greece of three FDI HN frigates and one in option, all to be built in Lorient, as part of a strategic partnership between France and Greece.

 

An innovative, 100% digital and cyber-secure multi-role combat frigate

The FDI is a high sea vessel with a 4,500 tons class displacement. Multipurpose and resilient, she is capable of operating, alone or within a naval force. She offers capabilities for all types of warfare: anti-surface, anti-air, anti-submarine and as well as for special forces projection. Bringing together the best of French naval technologies on a compact platform, the FDI is a powerful and innovative frigate, designed to meet the evolution of threats.

It is the first frigate to benefit from a digital architecture that will allow her continuous adaptation to technological and operational evolutions. As a result, the FDI will be able to address current and future threats and to handle always more data.

The FDI will be the first French frigate natively protected against cyber threats, with two data centres virtually accommodating a great part of the ship applications. The FDI introduces the concept of a dedicated system for asymmetric warfare. This system will enable the coordination and conduct of the fight against small and close air and surface threats, including booby trapped boats.

Strongly armed (Exocet MM40 B3C anti-surface missiles, Aster 15/30 anti-air missiles, MU90 antisubmarine torpedoes, artillery), the FDI is able to embark simultaneously a helicopter (10 tons class such as NH90) or the future Joint Light Helicopter and an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (up to 700 kg/1543 lbs.). She can also receive a Special Forces detachment with their two commando boats. They are equipped with the new generation Seafire radar with four fixed panels, developed by Thales, which, combined with the missile delivery system, offers unmatched area defence capabilities.

 

Technical specifications

Displacement 4,500 tons class
Length 122 meters/400 feet
Beam 18 meters/59 feet
Maximum speed 27 knots/31 mph/50 km/h
Autonomy 45 days
Accommodation 125 + 28 passengers

 

FDI frigates

On March 29, 2021, during a visit to Lorient of the French Minister of the Armed Forces, Florence Parly, Naval Group received notification of the order for two Frégate de Défense et d’Intervention (FDI) frigates by the French Defense Procurement Agency (DGA). The acceleration of the FDI program will support the activity of the Naval Group site in Lorient where the frigates are designed and built, also ensuring the preservation of skills.

Frégate de Défense et d'Intervention (FDI)
The French Ministry of the Armed forces accelerates the FDI frigates program and supports Naval Group’s activity in Lorient

The two frigates – the second (Admiral Louzeau) and third (Admiral Castex) in a series of five – will both be delivered in 2025, whereas the original plan was to deliver them every 18 months.

The first FDI (Admiral Ronarc’h), for which construction work began in 2020, is scheduled for delivery in 2024.

Pierre Eric Pommellet, Chairman and CEO of Naval Group said: «We are honoured by the confidence of the Ministry of the Armed Forces. It is a strong message for local jobs and the preservation of our very unique skills, but also to international navies that could be interested in this frigate. We will mobilise all our industrial and technological excellence to meet the new deadlines».

With a tonnage of more than 4,200 tonnes and a length of 121 metres/397 feet, the FDI frigates are based on a digital and scalable architecture built around our SETIS 3.0 combat management system.

They can conduct all the missions of modern navies (anti-air, anti-surface, anti-submarine warfare or special forces projection) and address new threats such as cyber attacks and asymmetric threats.

The FDI also benefits from the best technologies available on the naval defence market, including the latest Thales multi-function radar with active antenna and fixed panels as well as a fully digital electronic warfare system.

Naval Group employs 2,200 people at its Lorient site, where it builds surface ships for its customers, including the FREMM multimission frigates and Gowind corvettes.