Tag Archives: Naval Group

Auvergne commissioned

According to Defense-aerospace.com, on February 14, 2018, the Chief of the Naval Staff admitted to active service D654 Auvergne, the 4th multi-mission frigate (FREMM). Now declared fit for combat by the Navy, she joins D650 Aquitaine, D652 Provence and D653 Languedoc, her three sister-ships in the FREMM class.

The D654 Auvergne after its commissioning. Under current plans, the French navy will have received six FREMM frigates in anti-submarine configuration by 2019. Another three will follow by 2022, two of them with enhanced anti-air capabilities (French navy photo)
The D654 Auvergne after its commissioning. Under current plans, the French navy will have received six FREMM frigates in anti-submarine configuration by 2019. Another three will follow by 2022, two of them with enhanced anti-air capabilities (French navy photo)

This admission is the culmination of a process of verification of the ship’s military capabilities. In 2017, D654 Auvergne was deployed for more than four months in diversified areas of operations: the Mediterranean Sea, the China Sea, the Indian Ocean, the Persian Gulf and the Pacific Ocean.

This deployment was marked by its integration into Task Force 50, formed around the US aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN-68), and the Combined Task Force 150, the multinational naval force fighting against illicit trafficking. D654 Auvergne also helped show France’s commitment to respect for international law and the freedom of navigation, particularly in the China Sea.

D654 Auvergne confirmed the already recognized qualities of the FREMM-class as modern, versatile, enduring and flexible vessels. They meet the needs of maritime rescue missions, the gathering of information in all three dimensions, and the requirements of high-intensity conflicts: control of a zone of air-sea operations, anti-ship, anti-submarine and anti-air missions, and support of projection operations, command of a national or combined naval air force, etc.

Two major assets are worth highlighting: the ability that France now has to strike accurately from the sea and in depth, with the MdCN naval cruise missile, and its unequaled performance in anti-submarine warfare, thanks to the alliance of the ship’s hull-mounted sonars and her embarked (NH90) Cayman helicopter.

With this fourth FREMM frigate, the French Navy reinforces its ability to ensure France’s security, both in its own waters and on the high seas.

The future LPM multi-year funding law confirms the importance of first-rank frigates that contribute to all strategic functions. Thus, to reach the target of 15 frigates of first rank, four intermediate-size frigates (FTI) will be ordered and two delivered by 2025.

The last four FREMMs will have been delivered in 2025, the final two with enhanced air defense capabilities.



Total length 466 feet/142 m
Width 65.6 feet/20 m
Displacement 6,000 tonnes
Maximum speed 27 knots/31 mph/50 km/h
Operation 108 persons (including helicopter detachment)
Accommodation capacity 145 men and women
Cruising range at 15 knots/17 mph/28 km/h 6,000 nautical miles/6,905 miles/11,112 km


Third Scorpene

On 31 January 2018, in presence of Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Sunil Lanba, PVSM, AVSM, ADC, and CMD MDL Commodore Rakesh Anand (IN Retd.), INS Karanj (S23), the third of P75 Scorpene-class submarine was launched at a colorful ceremony by Smt Reena Lanba.

Karanj, third Indian-made Scorpene-class submarine, launched
Karanj, third Indian-made Scorpene-class submarine, launched

After the successful commissioning of INS Kalvari (S21) on 14 December 2017, this launch highlights the remarkable success of indigenous submarines totally built by Indian shipyard Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) through technology transfer and partnership with Naval Group, in line with Indian Government’s «Make in India» policy.

Post this launch of Karanj, the completion of setting-to-work will be undertaken by the trained and skilled teams of MDL and thereafter the sea trials will commence. The second boat INS Khanderi (S22) is already undergoing sea trials and will be commissioned in coming months. All these boats have been fitted with critical equipment, built in India by qualified and highly trained industrial MSMEs, which forms the sound base of submarine building ecosystem of India.

While attending the event at Mumbai, Mr. Alain Guillou, Senior Executive Vice President, Naval Group said: «This is a remarkable feat achieved by India, and MDL is indeed grown to be among the rarest of shipyards around the world to have mastered such unique competence of submarine building. We are glad to partner with such a shipyard, which can boast of competence and infrastructure which allows them to build 12 submarines at a time, thus proving an industrial marvel and an asset for Indian Navy and Indian government».


The Scorpene, a modern, high-performant, and most stealthy submarine

The Scorpene is a 2000-tons conventional-propulsion submarine designed and developed by Naval Group for all types of mission, such as surface vessel warfare, anti-submarine warfare, long-range strikes, special operations or intelligence gathering. Extremely stealthy and fast, it has a level of operating automation that allows a limited number of crew members, which reduces its operating costs significantly. Its combat edge is highlighted by the fact that it has 6 weapon launching tubes, 18 weapons (torpedoes, missiles, mines).

With 14 submarines sold internationally by Naval Group, the Scorpene is an essential reference product in the area of conventional attack submarines (SSK) for navies across the globe. The product is easily adapted for improvements requested by any naval customers. The progressive improvement through dedicated and experienced designers of Naval Group ensures these seamless advances and modern technology integrations.

Multi-mission frigate

On 1 February 2018, Naval Group floated the FREMM multi-mission frigate D656 Normandie, just 12 months after the start of hull assembly in the building dock on the Lorient site. The completion of this milestone represents an important step, demonstrating the industrial and technological mastery of Naval Group, ensuring compliance with a very tight schedule to be able to deliver, as foreseen, six of the FREMMs ordered by OCCAR (Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation) on behalf of the DGA (French Defence Procurement Agency – Direction Générale de l’Armement) to the French Navy before the end of 2019.

Floating out of the eighth FREMM frigate, D656 Normandie: Naval Group reaches its objectives
Floating out of the eighth FREMM frigate, D656 Normandie: Naval Group reaches its objectives

The eighth FREMM frigate to be built in Lorient and the sixth in the series ordered by OCCAR on behalf of the DGA for the French Navy, the FREMM D656 Normandie was taken out of its building dock in Lorient where it was assembled on time: just 12.5 months since the first block was positioned on the keel block line.

«This floating out was a real scheduling challenge to fulfil our commitment to deliver 6 anti-submarine FREMMs to the French Navy by 2019, as planned in the Military Programming Law 2014-2019. A challenge that has been successfully overcome thanks to the determination and know-how of the group’s teams, combined with an organisation developed on the basis of the feedback gathered from the previous ships», recalls Nicolas Gaspard, director of the FREMM program.

It is in autumn that the D656 Normandie will leave the dry dock to undergo its first sea trials before delivery to the French Navy, foreseen in summer 2019.

The timely completion of the floating out milestone strengthens Naval Group’s capacity to maintain the fast pace of series production for this major programme. Six FREMM frigates were already delivered between 2012 and 2017. The D650 Aquitaine in 2012, the D652 Provence in 2015, the D653 Languedoc in 2016 and last but not least the D654 Auvergne in April 2017. On the international market, Morocco took delivery of the Mohammed VI in 2014 and Egypt took delivery of the Tahya Misr in 2015.

The FREMM D656 Bretagne, floated in September 2016, will be transferred to Brest, where it will be based, in the second quarter 2018. The two final frigates, D657 Alsace and D658 Lorraine, will be delivered to the French Navy before the end of 2022. These frigates will be equipped with strengthened air defence capacities (FR‑AAW). The assembly of the FREMM D657 Alsace in the D658 Lorient building dock will start in spring 2018.


FREMM technical characteristics

Heavily armed, the FREMM D656 Normandie deploys as its sister ships the most effective weapon systems and equipment, such as the Herakles multifunction radar, the naval cruise missile (MdCN), the Aster and Exocet MM 40 missiles or the MU 90 torpedoes.



Overall length 142 m/466 feet
Width 20 m/65.6 feet
Displacement 6,000 tonnes
Maximum speed 27 knots/31 mph/50 km/h
Range 6,000 NM/6,905 miles/11,112 km at 15 knots/17 mph/28 km/h
Implementation 108 persons (including the helicopter detachment)
Accommodation capacity 145 persons