7 October, the FREMM Languedoc, the third frigate of the series for the French Navy, made its first sea outing. This industrial milestone marks the start of the vessel’s sea trials, which will take place off the coast of Brittany. With three FREMM multi-mission frigates currently under construction on the Lorient site, DCNS will have delivered six FREMMs to the French Navy before mid-2019, in accordance with the Military Programming Law 2015-2019, as well as two FREMMs for the export market.
DCNS has now completed the first sea outing of the FREMM Languedoc on the Lorient site, the third of the series of vessels ordered by OCCAR (l’Organisation Conjointe de Coopération en matière d’Armement – Organization for Joint Armament) on behalf of the DGA (French Defence Procurement Agency) and the French Navy. During this first sea outing, the main objective was to test the performance of the vessel’s propulsion and navigation system.
The FREMM Languedoc will benefit from a significant reduction in the duration of its sea trials compared to the previous FREMMs: six weeks instead of the previous eight. This optimised trial duration illustrates the transition to «series mode» for the multi-mission frigates.
DCNS teams and those of its partners were thus able to capitalise on the experience acquired with the FREMMs already delivered to proceed with the integration of the combat system’s sensors and weapons before the FREMM Languedoc’s first sea outing. This streamlining of the scheduling allows an optimisation of the duration and number of sea outings for the frigate and therefore, in the end, a reduction in the total time required for vessel trials.
«The acceleration of the trial scheduling for the FREMM Languedoc is a demonstration of DCNS capacity to ensure efficient serial production», explains Anne Bianchi, Director of the FREMM Programme at DCNS.
DCNS has floated the French Navy’s FREMM multi-mission frigate Auvergne in Lorient. The achievement took place on 2 September and marks an important step in the construction of the most modern front-line ship of the 21st century. The FREMM D654 Auvergne is the sixth frigate in the programme and fourth of the series ordered by OCCAR (l’Organisation Conjointe de Coopération en matière d’Armement – Organization for Joint Armament) on behalf of the DGA (the French defence procurement agency) for the French Navy.
With three FREMMs currently under construction in DCNS’ Lorient site, DCNS is accelerating the production speed in order to deliver six FREMMs to the French Navy before mid-2019. Two additional frigates equipped with strengthened anti-aircraft capacities will be delivered before 2022. Two further units have also been sold to international clients: The Royal Moroccan Navy and the Egyptian Navy.
«The floating of the FREMM Auvergne, after the delivery of the FREMM Tahya Misr to the Egyptian Navy and the delivery of the FREMM Provence in June, demonstrate DCNS’s ability to successfully achieve a serial production», explains Anne Bianchi, FREMM Programme Director at DCNS. «DCNS is doing everything in its power to satisfy its clients, the OCCAR, the DGA and the French Navy by delivering these last six frigates before mid-2019».
DCNS commenced construction of the FREMM Auvergne in August 2012. This new-generation frigate will be operated by an optimized crew of 108 (half that required for the frigates of the previous generation). Delivery of the FREMM Aquitaine, the first multi-mission frigate to be built for the French Navy, was taken by OCCAR on 23 November 2012 on behalf of the DGA.
Four surface ships currently being produced at DCNS Lorient
The floating of the FREMM Auvergne is being celebrated while the FREMM programme is progressing at an accelerated speed on the DCNS site in Lorient. Three FREMM frigates are currently under construction for the French Navy. The Lorient teams are also mobilized for the construction of the first GOWIND corvette for the Egyptian Navy.
FREMM technical characteristics
Under the project management of DCNS, the heavily armed FREMM frigates are equipped with the most effective weapon systems and hardware, such as the Héraclès multifunctional radar, the Naval Cruise Missile, the Aster and Exocet MM 40 missiles and the MU 90 torpedoes.
On June 12th in Brest, DCNS delivered the FREMM multi-mission frigate D652 Provence to the French Navy, as stipulated in the contract. This frigate is the second of the series ordered by OCCAR (l’Organisation Conjointe de Coopération en matière d’Armement – Organisation for Joint Armament) on behalf of the DGA (Direction Générale de l’Armement – French armament procurement agency).
Delivery of the FREMM multi-mission frigate Provence is the result of a design and construction process managed by DCNS in close cooperation with the French Navy, DGA and OCCAR teams. All DCNS sites, its partners and subcontractors took part to this technological and industrial success to ensure compliance with the industrial milestones, in particular the launching in September 2013 and the first sea outing in September 2014.
The delivery of the second series to the French Navy took place just a few weeks after the first successful firing in Europe of a naval cruise missile from the first-of-class, the FREMM D650 Aquitaine. The sale of a frigate to the Royal Moroccan Navy and the Egyptian Navy, as well as the announcement of the launch of the intermediate-size frigates programme, boost DCNS ambitions for international development thanks to a broader offer of first of rank surface ships.
«The delivery of the FREMM Provence represents an opportunity to applaud the industrial and technological prowess of DCNS and its subcontractors. It underlines our ability to produce first of rank combat ships that meet our client navies needs, such as those of Morocco and Egypt», stated Anne Bianchi, Director of FREMM programmes. «Today, we are proud to deliver this second ship to the French Navy».
SETIS, one of the most effective sea-proven combat systems on the market
The delivery of the FREMM Provence marks the culmination in the ramping up of SETIS (Ship Enhanced Tactical Information System), the latest-generation combat system developed by DCNS. The ship is now equipped with a cutting-edge solution that is perfectly integrated on board. Indeed, the successful firing of the naval cruise missile on May 19th 2015 from the FREMM Aquitaine is a demonstration of the anti-land warfare capabilities directed at targets located deep in enemy territory. Added to the anti-submarine, anti-surface and anti-air warfare capabilities, the FREMM has now reached its full technological capabilities.
«DCNS has successfully accomplished this essential step for the FREMM SETIS combat system. We are proud to have contributed to the successful firing of a cruise missile from a surface ship, a first in Europe. This result is a demonstration of DCNS expertise in the area of the design and integration of combat systems», stressed Anne Bianchi.
Four FREMM at different stages of construction at DCNS Lorient Shipyard
For DCNS, the FREMM programme currently involves the construction of ten frigates, eight of them for the French Navy. Six of these are to be delivered by 2019 and the remaining two frigates, equipped with extended anti-aircraft capabilities, will be delivered before 2022. Two other were sold for export clients: the Royal Moroccan Navy and the Egyptian Navy.
The delivery of the FREMM Provence takes place at a time when the FREMM programme is powering ahead on the DCNS site in Lorient. To date, three FREMM frigates are under construction and one is being prepared before being delivered:
The FREMM D650 Aquitaine, first in series, delivered in 2012.
The FREMM 701 Mohammed VI, for the Royal Moroccan Navy, delivered in 2014.
The FREMM D652 Provence, delivered on 12 June 2015.
The FREMM intended for the Egyptian Navy, formerly the FREMM D651 Normandie, will be delivered in summer 2015.
The FREMM D653 Languedoc will make its first sea outing in autumn 2015.
The FREMM D654 Auvergne is currently in the final stages of construction and will be launched in September 2015.
The FREMM D656 Bretagne is currently being assembled.
Technical characteristics of the FREMMs
The FREMM multi-mission frigate is one of the most technologically advanced and competitive ships on the market. Its versatility and manoeuvrability meet the operational requirements of numerous navies around the world. Equipped with high-tech sensors and weapons, integrated with the SETIS latest-generation combat system developed by DCNS, the frigate can counter all types of threats, whether air, surface, submarine or land-based.
The heavily armed FREMM frigate is equipped with the most effective weapons systems and equipment, such as the Herakles multifunction radar, the Aster and Exocet MM 40 missiles, or the MU 90 torpedoes. It is innovative and offers unequalled levels of interoperability and availability. This combat ship is capable of meeting the expectations of numerous navies.
Fincantieri, one of the world’s largest shipbuilding groups and reference player in the naval shipbuilding industry, and Finmeccanica, Italy’s leading manufacturer in the high technology sector, will build and equip the units set out in the renewal plan of the Italian Navy’s fleet.
In the framework of this plan, OCCAR (Organisation Conjointe de Cooperation sur l’Armement, the international organization for cooperation on arms) has signed the order of the contractual performance for the construction of six patrol vessels (PPA, or Multipurpose Offshore Patrol Ship), with four more in option, and for one logistic support unit (LSS or Logistic Support Ship) with the consortium (Raggruppamento Temporaneo di Impresa – RTI) consisting of Fincantieri, agent, and Finmeccanica, through its subsidiary Selex ES, principal.
The value of the contracts for the seven units is approximately 3.5 billion euros (US $4 billion), of which Fincantieri’s share amounts to approx. 2.3 billion euros (US $2.6 billion) and the one of Finmeccanica to about 1.2 billion euros (US $1.4 billion).
The contracts provide different activation phases. Today OCCAR has started Phase 1 for the construction of the first PPA and the logistic support unit for a total value of 372 million euros (US $419 million), of which Fincantieri’s share amounts to 220 million euros (US $248 million) and Finmeccanica’s one to 152 million euros (US $171 million). The activation of the next phases concerning the other units is expected to take place in the upcoming months.
The delivery of the logistic support unit is scheduled for 2019, while the first patrol vessel is expected to be delivered in 2021. The delivery of the following patrol vessels is planned for 2022, 2023, 2024 (two units) and 2025.
In general, this multi-year program for the renewal of the Navy’s fleet (known as the «Defence Act») will employ a total funding of 5.4 billion euros (US $6 billion) and foresees the construction, in addition to the aforementioned units, of one transport and landing unit (LHD) through a public contract with the Italian Ministry of Defence currently being finalized. In particular:
1 logistic support unit (LSS or Logistic Support Ship);
6 patrol vessels (PPA, or Multipurpose Offshore Patrol Ship) and 4 more in option;
1 transport and landing unit (LHD or Landing Helicopter Dock).
The fundamental characteristic common to all three classes of ships is their high level of innovation providing them with a considerable degree of efficiency and flexibility in serving different mission profiles. In particular, these are dual use vessels, meaning that they may be used for both standard military purposes and for civil protection and rescue at sea operations, and they also have a low environmental impact thanks to a state-of-the-art auxiliary propulsion system generating a low level of pollution emissions (electric engines) and biological waste control system.
The consortium (RTI) was established according to the cooperation agreement in the field of naval vessels construction signed last October between Fincantieri and Finmeccanica. Pursuant to the agreement, Fincantieri acts as a sole interface to the client, while allowing to enhance Finmeccanica’s products range in the naval field.
In addition to building the vessels at its shipyards, Fincantieri will provide support over the lifecycle of the vessels in the first ten years, through the supply of logistic services (training courses, spare parts, technical documentation) during the construction of the vessels and of ISS or In Service Support (maintenance services), carried out during post-delivery operations, as well as components and naval machinery produced by the Marine Systems and Components Unit, such as shaft lines, wheelhouse, maneuvering propellers, fin stabilizers and other handling systems, the automation system and a part of the special supplies for PPAs delivered by the subsidiary Seastema S.p.A.
Finmeccanica, through Selex ES, will act as prime contractor for all of the new naval units’ combat systems. Selex ES will provide sensors, such as the new multi-functional radar, and will also take on responsibility for all subsystems, included those provided by OTO Melara, WASS, MBDA and Elettronica.
In addition, Selex ES and Fincantieri will develop together the innovative «Cockpit» system. This system will, for the first time ever, allow for the integrated management of sailing and combat system operations, using augmented reality to allow both functions to be effectively managed with fewer operators.
LSS – Logistic Support Ship
The LSS is a vessel that provides logistics support to the fleet, endowed with hospital and healthcare capabilities thanks to the presence of a fully equipped hospital, complete with operating rooms, radiology and analysis rooms, a dentist’s office and hospital rooms capable of hosting up to 12 seriously injured patients. The ship is capable of combining capacity to transport and transfer to other transport vessels used for liquids (diesel fuel, jet fuel, fresh water) and solids (emergency spare parts, food and ammunitions) and to perform at sea repairs and maintenance work for other vessels.
The defense systems are limited to the capacity of command and control in tactical scenarios, communications and dissuasive, non-lethal defense systems. The vessel is also capable of embarking more complex defence systems and becoming an intelligence and electronic war platform.
165 meters/541 feet long;
Speed of 20 knots/23 mph/37 km/h;
200 persons including crew and specialists;
4 replenishment station abeam and 1 astern;
Capacity to supply drinking water to land;
Capacity to provide electricity to land with 2,500 kW of power;
Possibility of embarking up to 8 residential and healthcare modules;
Capacity to perform rescues at sea, through recovery and seabed operations (the ship is equipped with an 30 tons offshore stabilized crane stabilized);
Base for rescue operations through helicopters and special vessels.
Delivery is scheduled in 2019.
PPA – Multipurpose Offshore Patrol Ship
The Multipurpose Offshore Patrol Ship is a highly flexible ship with capacity to serve multiple functions ranging from patrol with sea rescue capacity to Civil Protection operations, and in its most highly equipped version, first line fighting vessel.
There will be indeed different configurations of combat system: a «soft» one for the patrol task integrated for self-defence ability, and a «full» one, equipped for a complete defence ability. The vessel is also capable of operating high-speed vessels such as RHIB (Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat) up to 11 meters/36 feet long through lateral cranes or a hauling ramp located at the far stern.
129 meters/423 feet long;
Speed of over 31 knots/36 mph/57 km/h;
171 persons of the crew;
Equipped with a combined diesel and gas turbine plant (CODAG);
Capacity to supply drinking water to land;
Capacity to provide electricity to land with 2,000 kW of power;
Possibility of embarking modular residential and healthcare zones;
2 modular zones at the stern and at the center of the ship that allow the embarking of various types of containerized operating/logistic/healthcare modules. In particular, the stern area may receive and handle within a covered area up to 5 modules in ISO 20” containers, while the central zone may receive and handle up to 8 ISO 20” containers.
The PPAs will be built at the Integrated Shipyard of Riva Trigoso and Muggiano, with delivery expected, for the first vessel of the class, in 2021, while the following deliveries of the vessels will take place in 2022, 2023, 2024 (two units), and 2025.
The frigate Carabiniere (F593) was delivered on April 28, 2015 at the Muggiano (La Spezia) shipyard. It is the fourth vessel of the FREMM program – Multi Mission European Frigates – commissioned to Fincantieri within the international Italian-French program, coordinated by OCCAR (the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation). Orizzonte Sistemi Navali (51% Fincantieri and 49% Finmeccanica) is the prime contractor for Italy in the FREMM program, which envisions the building of 10 units, all already ordered.
The ship has been named Carabiniere (F593) to celebrate in 2014, year of the launching, the 200th anniversary of the foundation of the Italian Carabinieri Force. Carabiniere (F593) is the fourth FREMM unit which Fincantieri builds and delivers to the Italian Navy completed with a combat system (the third with the ASW – Anti Submarine Warfare configuration), that is the ability of silent navigation speed in significant anti-submarine hunting.
144 meters long and a displacement at full load of approximately 6,700 tonnes, the FREMM frigates represent technological excellence: designed to reach a maximum speed of 27 knots/31 mph/50 km/h and to provide accommodation for 200 people (crew and staff), these vessels are able to always guarantee a high degree of flexibility and to operate in a wide range of scenarios and tactical situations.
The program faces the fleet renewal need of the Italian Navy’s units of the class frigates Lupo (disarment completed in 2003) and Maestrale (close in reaching its operational life limit). It is coordinated by OCCAR (l’Organisation Conjointe de Coopération en matière d’ARmement).
These units significantly contribute to the tasks assigned to the Italian Navy, being able to operate in various sectors: anti-aircraft, anti-submarine and anti-naval warfare, fire support from the sea as well as an organic helicopter component embarked. The FREMM units are set to become the backbone of the Italian Navy of the next decades.