The 16th April 2021 in Toulon, in presence of the French Minister of the Armed forces Florence Parly, Naval Group delivered the FREMM DA Alsace (D656), in accordance with its schedule commitments and expected performances. Intended for the French navy, Alsace (D656) is the first of the two air defence frigates with enhanced air defence capability and the seventh FREMM multimissions frigate ordered by OCCAR for the French defence procurement agency (Direction générale de l’armement – DGA) for the French Navy.
FREMM DA Alsace (D656) is the first frigate with enhanced air defence capability. Her role will be the anti-aircraft defence of major units such as the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier, or that of PHA-type landing helicopter docks, within the framework of a naval air and amphibious group.
Despite the health crisis, the FREMM DA Alsace (D656) is being delivered on schedule by shifts from Naval Group and its industrial partners. Benefiting from the experience acquired on the FREMM already delivered, it also incorporates several capability upgrades in response to rapidly changing technologies (communications, cyber defense, etc.).
The main milestones of FREMM DA Alsace (D656):
- February 2018: Key laying of the first block;
- April 2019: Floating out of construction dock;
- October 2020: First sea trial;
- 16 April 2021: Delivery in Toulon.
An industrial success that mobilises the skills of the entire naval industry
The FREMM program mobilises many skills and hundreds different trades including architects, boilermakers, welders, mechanics, systems engineers, etc.
Like the other units of the FREMM series, Alsace (D656) represents around three million working hours from conception to delivery, half of these working hours are provided by Naval Group sites. In addition to Lorient where the frigate is designed and assembled, Toulon-Ollioules and Paris-Bagneux are also involved for the combat system, Nantes-Indret for the propulsion, Angoulême-Ruelle for the equipment, and Saint-Tropez for the underwater weapons.
The other half of the work hours is accounted for by Naval Group’s partners and subcontractors. Indeed, the FREMM program benefits from the best equipment on the market and calls on a large number of companies, including Thales, MBDA, Sagem, Jeumont, MTU, Oto Melara and Avio.
Alsace (D656) will be based in Toulon, where the teams of the Services Department will deploy all their industrial resources and skills to ensure the operational availability of this ship.
«We are very pleased to be here in Toulon for the delivery, on schedule despite the health crisis, of this first FREMM multimissions frigate with enhanced air defense capability. I would like to express Naval Group’s gratitude to our clients, who have placed their trust in us and are working with us on a daily basis to build these versatile frigates. Alsace (D656) has the same exceptional anti-submarine capabilities as the previous units of the FREMM series but with this new version, the French Navy will benefit from strengthened air defense capabilities, in accordance with the commitments of the military programming law», Pierre Eric Pommellet, chairman and CEO.
A ten frigates program
Since 2005, when OCCAR entrusted Naval Group the industrial production of the FREMM program for France, Naval Group has built nine ships, seven for the French Navy and two for the Royal Moroccan Navy and the Royal Egyptian Navy, respectively. The eighth and last FREMM DA for France is scheduled in 2022.
- Aquitaine (D650): November 2012
- Mohammed VI (701) for the Royal Moroccan Navy: 2014
- Provence (D652): June 2015
- ENS Tahya Misr (FFG-1001): for the Royal Egyptian Navy: 2015
- Languedoc (D653): March 2016
- Auvergne (D654): April 2017
- Bretagne (D655): July 2018
- Normandie (D651): July 2019
- Lorraine (D657): 20221
FREMM DA Alsace (D656) uses the most advanced weapon systems and equipment
Heavily armed like all FREMM frigates, Alsace (D656) was designed to answer the operational requirements of the French Navy. She benefits from the continuous evolution intrinsic to the FREMM program to incorporate the latest technological developments and integrates the latest developments ordered by OCCAR, according to an unchanged delivery schedule.
The architecture of the first units of the FREMM series designed by Naval Group has been retained. What characterises the FREMM Alsace is her increased anti-air warfare capabilities.
The FREMM DA uses the most advanced weapons systems and equipment, such as the Herakles multifunction radar, the Aster 15 and 30 and Exocet MM 40 missiles and the MU 90 torpedoes. Like the other units of the FREMM series, she carries the NH90 helicopter (Caïman Marine), whose use is supported by the SAMAHE system supplied by Naval Group.
The performance of her combat system is strengthened with increased radar and communication capabilities, a new radar and electro-optical fire control system as well as Naval Group SETIS Combat Management System equipped with specific air defense functions.
FREMM DA Technical features
|Overall length||142 metres/466 feet|
|Width||20 metres/65.6 feet|
|Maximum speed||27 knots/31 mph/50 km/h|
|Accommodation capacity||165 peoples|
|Autonomy||6,000 NM/6,905 miles/11,112 km at 15 knots/17 mph/28 km/h|
FREMM DA Weapons systems
All units of the FREMM series with enhanced air defence capability can deploy:
- 8 anti-ships missiles Excocet MM40 Block 3;
- 32 missiles Aster in vertical launch system Sylver;
- 1 main naval-gun 76-mm;
- 4 machine guns 12.7-mm;
- 19 MU90 torpedo;
- 1 Caïman naval warfare helicopter;
- 2 Narwhal 20-mm remotely-operated naval weapon.