The FREMM European multi-mission frigate is a joint programme between France and Italy. It will build 21 FREMM frigates for the French Navy and the Italian Navy. The frigates are 140m in overall length and 20m wide with displacement of 6,000t. The ship’s complement is 108 officers and crew. The prime contractors for the FREMM programme are Armaris of France and Orizzonte Sistemi Navali of Italy.
Armaris was a joint subsidiary of DCN and Thales and is now wholly-owned by DCNS. The Italian Orizzonte Sistemi Navali is a joint venture between Fincantieri and Finmeccanica.
Both Amaris and Orizzonte play major roles in the system specification and development of the main subsystems and the combat system.
In April 2007, DCN became DCNS. This followed an agreement where Thales became a 25% shareholder in the new company and DCN acquired the naval business of Thales France (excluding naval equipment).
Development and design features of the frigates
The lead ship of the class, Aquitaine, was commissioned in November 2012 by the French Navy. In France the class is known as the Aquitaine class, while in Italy they are known as the Bergamini class. Italy has ordered six general purpose variants and four anti-submarine variants; the last two Italian general purpose FREMMs will have anti-aircraft warfare, anti-ballistic missile and surface attack capabilities. Source wikiwand.com
In November 2005, the organisation conjointe de cooperation en matière d’armement (OCCAR) awarded French companies DCN and Thales and Italian companies Fincantieri and Finmeccanica the first FREMM development and build contracts.
The first contract covers the design build and support of the first six anti-submarine warfare frigates and two land attack frigates for the French Navy. Three more frigates were ordered by the French Government in October 2009.
Deliveries were originally scheduled for a five-year period from 2011 to 2016. The first delivery was made in 2012. The first of class vessel is called the Aquitaine, the second Normandie.
Construction of Aquitaine began in March 2007 and was launched in April 2010. Aquitaine began sea trials in April 2011 and was delivered to the French Navy in November 2012.
The first steel was cut for Normandie in October 2009 and was officially launched on 18 October 2012.
|Country of origin||France|
|Dimensions and displacement|
|Displacement, full load||6 000 tons|
|Propulsion and speed|
|Range||11 100 km at 15 knots|
|Propulsion||CODLOG propulsion with two electric motors (5MW combined and a single gas turbine (42 900 shp)|
|Helicopters||1 x NH90 NFH|
|Artillery||1 x 76-mm dual-purpose gun, 3 x 20-mm cannons|
|Missiles||16 x Aster 15 SAM missiles, 16 x SCALP Naval land attack cruise missiles, 8 x MM.40 Exocet anti-ship missiles|
|Torpedoes||2 x twin 324-mm tubes for MU90 lightweight torpedoes|
Ships for the French Navy
|Aquitaine (650)||2007||2010||2012||active, in service|
|Provence (652)||2010||2013||2015||active, in service|
|Languedoc (653)||2011||2014||2016||active, in service|
|Auvergne (654)||2012||2015||expected in 2017||under construction|
|Bretagne (655)||2013||?||expected in 2018||under construction|
|Normandie||?||?||expected in 2019||ordered|
|Alsace||?||?||expected in 2021||ordered|
|Lorraine||?||?||expected in 2022||ordered|
Normandie (651) sold to Eygpt
Normandie (651) – Image: The Fifth Column
The sale by DCNS of the multi-mission (FREMM) frigate to Egypt has now been finalized. In response to the request from Egypt, the sale transaction was set up in a very short time, which is not compatible with the usual procedures that govern the launch of the construction of a new vessel.
The only solution allowing on-time delivery is to hand over to Egypt one of the FREMM originally intended for the French navy, which is currently fitting out at DCNS’s Lorient shipyard: the frigate “Normandie.”
In practical terms, the sale of the ship to Egypt will have a strong impact on the French navy, and will require a complete reshuffling of the crews of the FREMM frigates “Normandie” and “Provence,” which both are nearing the end of their user trials.
Specifically, once the contract is signed (It now has been signed—Ed.), the current crew of “Normandie” will transfer to “Provence,” which will be home-ported in Brest. There, it will work up its anti-submarine warfare capabilities on the Atlantic coast, as originally planned. The current crew of “Provence” will be reallocated to another FREMM frigate, “Languedoc,” which is currently being completed by DCNS, for fitting out. Source defense-aerospace.com
FS Provence D652 – Image: shipspotting.com
DCNS started construction of the third vessel of the class, Provence, in December 2010. The frigate was launched in September 2013 and began sea trials in October 2014. It was delivered to the French Navy in June 2015. Construction of the fourth frigate, Languedoc, started in September 2011 and launch took place in July 2014. The frigate was delivered to the French Navy in March 2016. Auvergne, the fifth of the class, was laid down in August 2012. The frigate was launched in September 2015.
The fourth French ASW FREMM frigate “Auvergne” starts sea trials and the fifth French FREMM “Bretagne” was launched: Here
Auvergne (654) – Image: occar.int
On 26th September 2016, the fourth of class French Navy’s ASM (Anti-Submarine Warfare) FREMM multi-mission frigate “Auvergne” successfully completed its first sea going in Lorient.
During this first trial at sea, which involves industrial teams led by DCNS, the French Navy crew, the French defence procurement agency (DGA) and OCCAR FREMM Programme Division, the main objective is to test the performance of the frigate’s propulsion and navigation system.
DCNS handed over fourth FREMM frigate to French Navy: Here
French shipbuilder DCNS handed over the fourth Aquitaine-class FREMM (Frégate Européenne Multi-Mission) frigate to the French Navy on 11 April.
Auvergne is one of six ships in France’s planned eight-ship FREMM programme being configured for anti-submarine warfare (ASW) operations. It follows sister ship Languedoc , which was delivered on 16 March 2016, lead ship Aquitaine , which was delivered in November 2012, and Provence , which was delivered in June 2015. The two remaining ASW variants – Bretagne and Normandie – are scheduled for delivery in 2018 and 2019 respectively.
DCNS Floats a New FREMM Frigate: Here
Bretagne (655) – Image: dcnsgroup.com
On 16 September 2016, DCNS floated the FREMM multi-mission frigate Bretagne in Lorient, France. The achievement of this industrial milestone marks an important step in the construction of the vessel. It once again underlines the dynamism of DCNS and its capacity to deliver six FREMM frigates to the French Navy before mid-2019, in accordance with the Military Programming Law 2014-2019.
The Ministry of Defence of the Arab Republic of Egypt placed an order with DCNS for a FREMM frigate, Tahya Misr in February 2015. The frigate was delivered to the Egyptian Navy in June 2015.
Ships for the Egyptian Navy
On 16 February 2015, The Egyptian Navy ordered one FREMM vessel to enter service before the opening of the New Suez Canal, as part of a larger deal (including 24 Rafales and a supply of missiles) worth US$5.9 billion (€5.2 billion). In order to keep to Egypt’s deadlines, France offered to send Normandie, originally intended for the French Navy. The SYLVER A70, jamming equipment and satellite communications have been removed, and the crew will be 126 in Egyptian service compared to 108 as a French ship. From March 2015, DCNS trained the Egyptian crew in the technology of the ship and DCNS and its partners accompanied the crew for a period of 15 months. On 23 June 2015, French naval shipbuilder DCNS transferred the FREMM frigate Tahya Misr ( ex-Normandie) to the Egyptian navy. Source wikiwand.com
Tahya Misr (1001) – Image: defencetalk.com
|Tahya Misr (1001)||2009||2012||2016||active, in service|
In May 2006, OCCAR awarded the contract for the first two Italian FREMM frigates. Italy ordered a second batch of four submarines in February 2008, with designated three of these for anti-submarine warfare (ASW). The last batch of two was ordered in April 2015.
The first Italian frigate was launched in July 2011 and delivered in May 2013. Deliveries are expected to conclude in 2021. The first of the class is called Carlo Bergamini, the second is Virginio Fasan and third Carlo is Margottini. Virginio Fasan was launched in March 2012 and delivered in December 2013. The fourth ship, Carabiniere was delivered in April 2015.
The fifth frigate, Alpino, was launched in December 2014 and the sixth, Rizzo, was launched in December 2015, while the seventh frigate is under construction. First steel was cut for the eighth FREMM frigate in February 2015 and the vessel is scheduled to be delivered in early 2019.
In October 2007, DCNS announced an agreement has been signed with the Royal Moroccan Navy for supply of one FREMM frigate, the first export order for the vessel.
Ships for the Moroccan Navy
Mohammed VI (701) – Image: shipspotting.com
|Mohammed VI (701)||2008||2011||2014||active, in service|
Construction of a FREMM frigate for Royal Moroccan Navy began in 2008. Named Mohammed VI, the frigate was launched in September 2011 and began sea trials in April 2013. It was delivered in January 2014.
The frigate’s layout has been designed to provide sufficient size for operational effectiveness, maintainability and sustained upgrades. The layout incorporates increased headroom between decks, deeper and longer engine compartments and larger equipment pathways for access and maintenance.
Click to enlarge: Modified photo of Mohammed VI class frigate. Photo: Michel Floch
In high resolution here. – Image: navalanalyses.blogspot.com
For quayside maintenance, the frigate is fitted with an aft side door for loading and unloading equipment, load handling equipment and a wide lower deck passage way. Consoles on the integrated bridge are for all main platform functions, including navigation, steering and communications.
The bridge also allows operators to manage and control all platform systems, to monitor safety and security and to coordinate other operations.
Italian FREMM frigate specifics
The Italian frigates are armed with the SAAM Aster 15 missile system for air-defence capability and also Teseo Mk2 (export version: Otomat Mk2) sea-skimming anti-ship missiles, both supplied by MBDA.
Teseo Mk2 uses command updated inertial guidance and has a range of up to 55km. Two DCNS Sylver A43 vertical launch systems are fitted to each ship.
Frigates are equipped with MBDA’s Milas all-weather anti-submarine warfare weapon system. Milas, a derivative of Otomat Mk2, carries and releases a lightweight torpedo, such as an MU-90, close to the designated hostile submarine. The submarine’s position is indicated by the ship’s sonar or by other assets, such as an ASW helicopter or maritime patrol aircraft.
The vessel’s sonar suite includes Thales Type 4110 hull-mounted sonar. The three anti-submarine warfare vessels are also equipped with Thales Type 4929 active very-low-frequency towed array sonars.
The EMPAR G-band multifunction phased array radar from Selex Sistemi Integrati is the fire control radar for the missile systems. The vessel’s infra-red search and track (IRST) system is the Galileo Avionica SASS (silent acquisition surveillance system).
Carlo Bergamini (F590)
Carlo Bergamini (F590) – Image: Associazione Navimodellisti Bolognesi
|Country of origin||Italy|
|Crew (general purpose variant)||199 men|
|Crew (ASW variant)||201 men|
|Dimensions and displacement|
|Displacement, full load||6 900 tons|
|Propulsion and speed|
|Range||12 300 km at 15 knots|
|Propulsion||CODLAG propulsion with single gas turbine (42 900 shp), 2 x electric motors (2.5 MW) and 4 diesel generators|
|Helicopters||2 x NH90 or AW101|
|Artillery (general purpose variant)||1 x 127 mm, 1 x 76 mm|
|Artillery (ASW variant)||2 x 76 mm|
|Missiles||16-cell VLS for Aster-15 and Aster-30 air defense missiles, 4 x OTOMAT anti-ship missiles (GP variant), 4 x MILAS anti-submarine missiles (ASW variant)|
|Torpedoes||2 x tripple launchers for MU90 lightweight torpedoes|
Bergamini class (FREMM) frigates: Details
Ships for the Italian Navy
|Carlo Bergamini (F590)||2008||2011||2013||active, in service|
|Virginio Fasan (F591)||2009||2012||2013||active, in service|
|Carlo Margottini (F592)||2010||2013||2014||active, in service|
|Carabiniere (F593)||2011||2014||2015||active, in service|
|Alpino (F594)||2012||2014||excepted in 2016||sea trials|
|Luigi Rizzo (F595)||2013||2015||expected in 2017||under construction|
|Federico Martinengo (F596)||2014||expected in 2017||expected in 2018||under construction|
|Antonio Marceglia (F597)||2015||expected in 2018||expected in 2019||under construction|
|Spartaco Schergat (F598)||expected in 2017||expected in 2019||expected in 2020||ordered|
|Emilio Bianchi (F599)||expected in 2018||expected in 2020||expected in 2021||ordered|
French FREMM frigate details
The French frigates are being built in two mission versions, the land attack (action vers la terre or AVT) version that are being fitted with torpedoes and vertically launched self-defence and cruise missiles and an anti-submarine warfare ASW version, fitted with torpedoes, vertical launch self-defence missiles and an active towed array sonar.
Sonar CAPTAS 4
The Combined Active and Passive Towed Array Sonar (CAPTAS) is a family of long-range, Low Frequency Active Sonar (LFAS) systems developed by Thales Underwater Systems to support surface ship’s anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capability. The CAPTAS towed Variable Depth Sonar (VDS) is well suited for detection of modern diesel-powered submarines in the littoral, deep and shallow water environments. Its range of performance levels, defined by the power of acoustic transmission and the gain of the receiver subsystem, enables integration onto a wide range of surface ships such as corvettes, frigates and/or destroyers. CAPTAS family also features a faired tow cable for optimum Towed Body (TB) depth control, COTS processing architecture and port-starboard non ambiguous discrimination on receive array.
The Captas 4 (© MER ET MARINE – VINCENT GROIZELEAU) – Image: meretmarine.com
The CAPTAS 4 Compact is a smaller version of the CAPTAS 4 towed array sonar especially well suited to provide anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capabilities onboard medium-size frigates. The new sonar system is 20-percent lighter and 50-percent smaller than its parent system making possible to move the sensor package from ship to ship. Source deagel.com
Sensors, command and control
Languedoc (653) (© SEA AND MARINE – VINCENT GROIZELEAU) – Image: meretmarine.com
Thales is responsible for development and supply of the French FREMM surveillance and communications suites.
Systems will include Thales Artemis infra-red search-and-track (IRST) system and the Herakles 3D S-band multifunction surveillance and fire control radar for the frigates’ anti-air weapons systems.
Herakles 3D S-band radar
Thales’ Herakles S-band multifunction radar. Illustration: Thales
Thales Herakles is a rotating 3D multifunction radar (phased array) in the E/F-band (S-band) combining surveillance and fire control radar and thus performing all functions involved in the establishment of air and surface pictures. Herakles performs target detection and tracking, target classification, weapon assignment and deployment and missile uplink guidance. Herakles is optimized to detect and track multiple SSM, ARM, diving missiles, fighters and helicopters in littoral environments. Each ship is equipped with two Terma SCANTER 2001 navigation radars. One of the radar systems is utilized primarily for navigation and surveillance, whereas the other guides helicopters when landing on the frigates. The navigation equipment includes also the Sagem SIGMA 40, an inertial navigation system based on ring-laser-gyro technology. The system provides all the data crucial for navigation: heading, roll and pitch, angular velocities, position and heave, horizontal/vertical velocities and accelerations, etc. Source navalanalyses.blogspot.com
2 x Terma SCANTER 2001 navigation radar
The SCANTER 2000 series is an X-band, 2D, fully coherent pulse compression radar, based on Solid State transmitter technology with digital software-defined functionality. It is especially suited for Vessel Traffic Services (VTS), river, and inner port surveillance. The outdoor transceiver unit is very small, weighs only 26 kg, and can be placed up-mast close to the antenna to minimize installation requirements and costs as well as waveguide loss between antenna and transceiver to acheive a high effecient solution. This SCANTER 2000 series provides a fully integrated solution with automated processing and low lifetime cost.
BASED ON THE SCANTER RADAR TECHNOLOGY
Terma has more than 60 years of experience in developing and manufacturing radars, and more than 2,200 radar systems are installed worldwide. Terma provides radar sensors to Vessel Traffic Services
(VTS), Coastal Surveillance Radar (CS), and Surface Movement Radar (SMR) segments. More than 85 of all major airports around the world and 65% of all coastal shores rely on Terma’s sensor technology.
- Based on Terma’s high-quality and state-of-the-art radar technology
- Weight only 26 kg
- Easy integration – standard IP network
- Low installation life-time cost
|Hxwxd||466 mm x 422 mm x 422 mm|
|Type||Solid State power amplifier|
|Sector Transmission||Blank/reduced tx-power|
|Sampling||12 bit @ 200 MHz|
|Dynamic range||> 100 db (incl. processing)|
|Noise figure||2.5 dB typical|
|Emitter||>80W peak (equivalent to 25 kw magnetron)|
|Min. detection range||30 m|
Sigma 40: laser gyro technology inertial navigation system
The Sigma 40 inertial navigation system is making use on laser gyro technology. An advanced system designed by Sagem for maritime applications, the Sigma 40 meets the most demanding navigation and weapon system stabilization requirements.
Both an inertial attitude and heading reference system, the Sigma 40 offers high performance and precision for all sizes of surface vessels. Both compact and robust, the Sigma 40 delivers all data needed for navigation: heading, roll and pitch, angular velocity, position and heave, vertical/horizontal speed and acceleration.
The Sigma 40 is suited to all types of platforms, including fast patrol boats, mine-hunters, corvettes, frigates, aircraft carriers, etc. It comprises an inertial navigation unit (INU), control and display unit (CDU) and an installation bracket, for fast removal and reassembly without recalibration. Both innovative and scalable, the Sigma 40 is easy to install, maintain and operate. Source safran-electronics-defense.com
Artemis is based on medium-wave staring focal plane arrays and uses multiple static sensor heads rather than mechanical scanning. Herakles has a range of 250km against air targets and 80km against surface targets.
Thales Artemis IRST
Thales Artemis IRST (Infra Red Search and Track) system is based on a full stare sensor suite and advanced real time algorithms for automatic detection and tracking. Artemis is designed to provide full tactical situation awareness for simultaneous surface and air surveillance. Directly connected to the Combat Management System, the IRST is able to provide confirmed tracks at long range on threats such as anti-ship sea skimming missile, fighter or small craft, and to deliver images to the crew to improve situation awareness. Artemis uses three sensor units fixed on a mast or topside structure to achieve 360°surveillance coverage in azimuth, with each connected to a central processing unit by a fibre-optic link. Source navalanalyses.blogspot.com
The mast with the Artemis system (© MER ET MARINE – VINCENT GROIZELEAU) – Image: meretmarine.com
The upgradeable high-performance combat system by DCN and Thales is based on a high-speed data network. The combat system architecture will enable future weapon systems to be integrated into the frigates.
The bridge of Normandy (© SEA AND MARINE – VINCENT GROIZELEAU) -Image: meretmarine.comThe bridge of Normandy (© SEA AND MARINE – VINCENT GROIZELEAU) -Image: meretmarine.comThe bridge of Languedoc (© SEA AND MARINE – VINCENT GROIZELEAU) – Image: meretmarine.comLe pacha à la passerelle (© MER ET MARINE – VINCENT GROIZELEAU) -Image: meretmarine.comLa passerelle surmontée par l’Herakles (© MER ET MARINE – VINCENT GROIZELEAU) – Image: meretmarine.com
The ship’s Nato standard external communications include Link 11, Link 16, Link 22 and JSAT tactical data links, allowing full interoperability with Nato forces.
Internal communications include messaging, conventional and wireless telephony, public address, closed circuit television and internet and intranet ports.
Thales UMS 4110 CL hull sonar
Image for illustration only
The bow mounted UMS 4110 CL is a long-range sonar for offensive ASW (Anti-Submarine Warfare) and self-protection. It is designed for multi-mode operation and can simultaneously operate two active channels – ASW transmission modes – as well as passive channels for listening only or for the tracking of torpedoes. It also has the capability to carry out obstacle avoidance. A conventional cylindrical array lies at the heart of the UMS 4110 CL system, operating at about 5 kHz so as to exploit the range advantage of a rather low frequency.
Principle of operation of sonars (© THALES) – Image: meretmarine.com
In December 2001, Thales France and Alenia Marconi Systems were awarded a development contract for a new sonar system, known as 4110 CL, to be integrated into the four Horizon frigates. The 4110 CL is a hull-mounted medium frequencies sonar system featuring advanced signals processing. The development contract also included the procurement of four such sonar arrays to be mounted on two French and two Italian ships. The same sonar system was also selected for the FREMM multi-purpose frigates for the Navies of France and Italy. Source deagel.com
Nettuno 4100 by ELT Elettronica
The NETTUNO-4100 ECM System can provide naval platforms with an Active Electronic Defence using selected ECM tactics, exploited through DRFM generated signals. These tactics can be equally effective against both terminal missile attacks and long range designation radar systems, surface search and tracking radars in support of anti-surface engagements.
One of the two jammers (© MER ET MARINE – VINCENT GROIZELEAU) – Image: meretmarine.com
Nettuno 4100 is a state-of-the-art radar ECM having a scalable architecture which can be configured for different needs by:
- assessing the needed Effective Radiated Power (ERP) in relation to the ship Radar Cross Section (RCS) and role
- dimensioning the antenna array and the transmitted power to the ERP required for the defence purposes.
In any case , the Nettuno 4100 systems can cooperate with other onboard EW sensors.
- Full azimuth coverage, 50° Elevation
- Electronic beam steering (electronically stabilized against ship movements)
- Wide frequency coverage (H to J bands)
- Full solid-state design ensuring high ERP and graceful degradation in case of failure
- Detection, measurement and jamming of emitter side-lobe
- Multi-threat jamming capability through time-sharing resource management
- High level of readiness (no warm-up)
- High reliability and maintainability
- BITE down to module/card level
- Easy on-board integration and installation (no wave guides).
Thales ALTESSE is a high performance wideband for Communication ESM
The communications include a variety of equipment. Thales ALTESSE is a high performance wideband for Communication ESM providing early warning and tactical situation awareness capabilities based on interception and direction finding of the radio communication signals in HF and V/UHF band, that can be easily integrated with Combat Management System. The TMR6200 are receiver-exciters that use digital signal processing technology to offer cost-effective and highly flexible radios for HF naval communications systems. They can be operated independently as a standalone radio via the control panel or within an integrated naval communications system offering voice, data, messaging and e-mail services. The Thales TUUM-6 Digital Under Water Communication System offering Long range Low Probably Intercept (LPI) data transmission, high data rate transmission and communication with divers. Other equipment includes Link 11, Link 16, satellite and commercial communications with Syracuse antennas (SURFSAT-L terminal), the Thales TRN 4000 Fixed Frequency UHF Transceiver and the Thales PARTNER Communication Management System to cope with crew reduction and a friendly use of the communications.Source navalanalyses.blogspot.com – Thales ALTESSE: Details
Syracuse antennas (SURFSAT-L terminal)
Antenna Syracuse III under the Herakles (© SEA AND MARINE – VINCENT GROIZELEAU) Image: meretmarine.com
Missile variations and weaponry
SETIS combat system
CO of Aquitaine (© MARINE NATIONALE) – Image: meretmarine.com
The combat system of the ships is the DCNS SETIS (Ship Enhanced Tactical information System), an integrated combat system for networked multi-mission operations. SETIS features advanced algorithms to detect, identify and react immediately to threats with the most appropriate weapon system. SETIS combines a large range of equipment, sensors and long-range weapons for detection, identification and engagements in extreme conditions such as multiple attacks. The Thales SIC21 is a Command and Control Information System. According to Thales, SIC21 is a mission management capability to support all types of naval operations. It increases interoperability & information security within operational Command & control in National, Joint & multinational environments. Sea and Land continuum with deployment on all naval platforms, whether equipped with a Combat Management System or not, and land-based command sites. Source navalanalyses.blogspot.com
For anti-ship capability, the French FREMMs are being armed with MBDA’s Exocet MM40 block three anti-ship missiles, which will be controlled via a CMS multifunction console by a Mer-Mer weapon control system. Block three missiles have longer range and an enhanced navigation system to give a littoral attack capability.
Exocet MM40 block three anti-ship missiles
The MM40 Block 3 is the latest, and extremely advanced, Exocet derivative featuring added coastal attack capability, while enhances the proven long range anti-ship capability of the MM40 missile.
A new propulsion system will be provided to the Block 3 missile to extend its operational range out to 180 km. Block 3 missiles will be fully compliant with evolving vertical launch requirements.
Block 3’s new airframe will feature reduced radar (RCS) and Infrared (IR) signatures as well as enhanced maneuverability allowing flight stealth conditions for increased survivability. The guidance package will combine GPS/INS and a new J-band seeker providing new attack profiles and reduced jam vulnerability. The Block 3 will be armed with a new warhead to better adapt to the coastal attack role.
The new MM40 Block 3 missile will be available in 2006. MBDA is marketing the Block 3 as an upgrade kit for retrofitting to existing MM40 missiles. The French Navy intends to upgrade currently deployed Exocet MM40 Block 2 missiles to the Block 3 standard. MM40 Block 3 data source deagel.com
The MBDA Aster 15 air defence missile system for the AVT and ASW French frigates provides protection against supersonic and subsonic threats. Aster 15 has a minimum range of 1.7km and a maximum range of 30km against subsonic airborne threats.
Aster air defence missile system
Tir d’Aster 15 sur l’Aquitaine (© MBDA) – Image: meretmarine.com
The ASTER modular family of vertically launched missiles have been designed to meet the high demanding requirements of the emerging air threats such as aircraft, UAVs, helicopters and specially missiles. The ASTER missiles can be installed on ground- and sea-based platforms. They feature hit-to-kill capability, a very valuable skill against ballistic missiles. The missile family entered service in 2002 with the French Armed Forces. The ASTER 15 and ASTER 30 are integrated on the SAAM (ASTER 15), PAAMS (ASTER 15 and ASTER 30) and SAMP/T (ASTER 30) air defense systems. These systems will be employed by the armed forces of France, Italy and the United Kingdom.
ASTER 15 and ASTER 30
ASTER 15/30 – Image: mbda-systems.com
The two-stage ASTER missiles are provided with two different solid propellant boosters resulting in the ASTER 15 and the ASTER 30 models. The ‘Pif-Paf’ control system enables the ASTER missile to counter high maneuverable missiles achieving a direct impact (hit-to-kill). The ‘Pif-Paf’ propulsion combines conventional aerodynamic control with control by gas jets acting through the centre of gravity of the missile. Until mid-course the guidance of an ASTER missile is based on the Inertial Navigation System (INS) updated through an uplink, in the terminal phase the guidance is provided by an active Radiofrequency seeker. The final stage of the ASTER missile is a ‘dart’ equipped with the seeker, a sustainer motor, a proximity fuze and a blast fragmentation warhead.
The ‘Pif-Paf’ propulsion – Image: wikiwand.com
The ASTER 15 is a short range missile intended for self-defense (point defense) purposes against highly maneuverable threats. The ASTER 15 is integrated on the SAAM and beginning in 2006 in the PAAMS system. The SAAM is installed on French-built frigates and the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier. The PAAMS will be provided to the Horizon frigates (France and Italy) and the Type 45 destroyers (United Kingdom).
The front range with the Sylver launchers (© MER ET MARINE – VINCENT GROIZELEAU) – Image: meretmarine.com
The basic structure of -ASTER 15/30 – Image: et97.com
ASTER 15 version
Diameter: 180 millimeter (7.09 inch)
Length: 4.20 meter (165 inch)
Max Range: 30,000 meter (16.2 nautical mile)
Min Range: 1,700 meter (0.92 nautical mile)
Target’s Max Altitude: 13,000 meter (8.08 mile)
Top Speed: 1,000 mps (3,601 kph)
Weight: 310 kilogram (683 pound)
ASTER 15 data Source deagel.com
ASTER 30 version
Number of Stages: 2
Diameter: 180 millimeter (7.09 inch)
Length: 4.90 meter (193 inch)
Max Range: 120 kilometer (65 nautical mile)
Min Range: 3,000 meter (1.62 nautical mile)
Target’s Max Altitude: 20,000 meter (12.4 mile)
Top Speed: 1,494 mps (5,380 kph)
Weight: 450 kilogram (992 pound)
ASTER 30 data Source deagel.com
The MBDA Scalp Naval vertically launched cruise missile provides the French AVT FREMM’s land attack capability.
MBDA was awarded a contract for the first batch of 50 Scalp missiles for FREMM frigates in January 2007.
The Sylver A-70 vertical launcher was developed by DCN Ruelle. The missiles use inertial guidance and electro-optical terrain contour matching (TERCOM) in the terminal target approach phase of flight. Scalp Naval has a range of more than 1,000km.
Scalp Naval vertically launched cruise missile
The MdCN or Missile de Croisiere Naval, also known as Scalp Naval, is a derivative of the Storm Shadow/Scalp EG standoff missile being developed by MBDA to meet the requirements of the French Navy for a sea-launched land attack cruise missile. This new cruise missile features a maximum range of roughly 1,000 kilometers. The next generation of French multi-mission frigates and the Barracuda-class nuclear submarines will be armed with the Scalp Naval weapon. Source deagel.com
MdCN (© MBDA) – Image: meretmarine.com
Embedded on combat vessels positioned prolonged, at a safe distance in international waters, ostensibly (frigates) or discreetly (submarine), the MdCN will be able to reach objectives located at more than 1000 kilometers. During the flight phase, the missile, which has an inertial unit, is recalibrated thanks to a radio altimeter and a GPS positioning system enabling it to evolve at very low altitude. In the final phase, he uses an infrared autodirector to recognize his target and destroy it. Ideal for neutralizing strategic facilities, such as command infrastructure, the MdCN, with a 500-kilogram military load, is designed to penetrate hardened targets. The missile, which is 6.5 meters long and has a mass of 1.4 tons, will be housed in the vertical launch cells of two Sylver A70 octous launchers supplied by DCNS. They are installed on the front beach, with two other launchers, this time the Sylver A43, which will house 16 Aster 15 missiles, cornerstone of the surface-air defense of the building. Translated by google – Source meretmarine.com
Sylver vertical launcher
Lanceurs Sylver (© MER ET MARINE – VINCENT GROIZELEAU) – Image: meretmarine.com
As of 2009, the FREDA design features a more powerful version of the Thales Herakles passive electronically scanned array radar and 32 cells of SYLVER A50 in place of the 16 cells of A43 and 16 cells of A70. The SYLVER A50 would allow it to fire the 120 kilometres (75 mi)-range Aster 30 missile; the towed array sonar would not be fitted. Source wikiwand.com
The French FREMM’s main gun is the Oto Melara medium calibre 76/62 Super Rapide naval gun. The gun interfaces to an optronic fire control system. The gun is controlled control either via a CMS multifunction console or through a visual weapons director on the bridge. Four 12.7mm machine guns are installed for close-in defence.
Oto Melara 76/62 Stealth Shield, Multi feeding system
Caliber: 3 inches / 76,2 mm
Barrel lenght: 186 inches / 4,72 meters (= 62 caliber)
Weight: 7900kg, empty (Super Rapid)
Shell: 76 x 900 mm / 12,34 kilograms
Elevation: – 15° to + 85°
Rate of fire: Compact: 85 rpm / Super Rapid: selectable from single shot up to 120 rpm
Muzzle Velocity: 925 m/s (1100 m/s – DART)
Magazine: Compact: 80 rounds / SR: 85 rounds
16 kilometers with standard ammunition
20 km with extended range ammunition
up to 40 km with VULCANO ammunition
Le barillet de la tourelle de 76mm (© MER ET MARINE – VINCENT GROIZELEAU) – Image: meretmarine.com
– HE (high explosive) – 6,296kg / Range 16km / effective range 8km (4km vs. air targets at elev. 85°)
– MOM (multi-role OTO munition)
– PFF (pre-formed fragmentation) – anti-missile ammunition
– SAPOM (semi-armored piercing OTO munition) – 6,35kg / Range 16km
– SAPOMER (semi-armored piercing OTO munition, extended range) – Range 20km
– DART (driven ammunition reduced time of flight) – sub-calibre guided ammunition against multiple targets
(missiles and maneuvering targets at sea) 4,2kg in barrel / 3,5kg in flight / 660mm lenght / effective range >8km
– VULCANO (76mm unguided and guided extended range ammunition) – under development
DART (driven ammunition reduced time of flight)
VULCANO (76mm unguided and guided extended range ammunition)
1 x Sagem VIGY MM electro-optical fire control system for the 76mm cannon
The Sagem VIGY MM is an electro-optical fire control system equipped with an integrated ballistic computer, a gun fire control interface and a high-performance gyrostabilized platform that allows long- or short-range, high-precision shooting by day or night, including in very rough sea conditions with poor visibility. Thanks also to its passive equipment it can operate in radar silence. Used against sea or air targets during all types of self-defense operations, Vigy MM can engage any symmetric/asymmetric threat, including terrorist threats, with identification capability. Whether integrated in a Combat Management System or operated in standalone mode, it enables manual or automatic sector surveillance, automatic 2D/3D target tracking, aid to identification and processing of 3D target designation information. Source navalanalyses.blogspot.com – Sagem VIGY MM: Details
3 x Nexter 20mm Narwhal remote weapon systems
Nexter 20mm Narwhal remote weapon systems (© MER ET MARINE – VINCENT GROIZELEAU) – Image: meretmarine.com
NARWHAL® combines the impressive firepower of Nexter’s 20M621 20mm gun – used by more than 25 countries – with a set of high-performance day/night electro-optic cameras and a moving target monitoring function. It is the ideal system for a broad range of critical missions. It is perfectly suited to surveillance and maritime police operations, but also interception and self-defence operations in the face of constantly evolving asymmetric threats.
NARWHAL® provides short-range self-defence for French and Egyptian FREMM frigates, for French MISTRALclass vessels and for Lebanese navy patrol boats. It will be also in service on patrol boats (Guyanese PLG light patrol craft) and on the HORIZON class frigates of the French Navy. Source nexter-group.fr
Poste OMS (© MER ET MARINE – VINCENT GROIZELEAU) – Image: meretmarine.comCuisine (© MER ET MARINE – VINCENT GROIZELEAU) – Image: meretmarine.comCoursive (© MER ET MARINE – VINCENT GROIZELEAU) – Image: meretmarine.com
Torpedoes and countermeasures of the multimission frigates
The French vessels are armed with the Eurotorp MU 90 Impact torpedo. MU 90 has a directed energy warhead and a range of 12,000m at maximum speed and 25,000m at minimum speed.
Eurotorp MU 90 Impact torpedo
The MU90/IMPACT Advanced Lightweight Torpedo is the leader of the 3rd generation of LWTs. Designed and built with the most advanced technology, the weapon is of fire-and-forget type conceived to cope with any-task any-environment capability requirements and meet the ASW operational needs of the 21st century.
The weapon has been designed to counter any type of nuclear or conventional submarine, acoustically coated, deep and fast-evasive, deploying active or passive anti-torpedo effectors
Lancement d’une MU90 d’entrainement sur l’Aquitaine (© MARINE NATIONALE) – Image: meretmarine.com
Main Dynamic Features
|Linearly Variable speed||……………………||29 to >> 50 kts**|
|Range||……………………||>10,000 m at max. speed**
> 23,000m at min. speed**
|Minimum depth for launching||……………………||< 25 m|
|Max. operating depth||……………………||>> 1000 m**|
|Agility and manoeuvrability||…………………….||Extreme|
|Diameter (NATO Standard)||……………………||323,7 mm|
Main Acoustic Features
|Acoustic coverage||……………………||120°H x 70°V|
|Simultaneous targets||……………………||Up to 10|
Main Counter-Counter Measures
|Stationary target detection capability|
(**) = real value classified
Les tubes lance-torpilles à bâbord (© MER ET MARINE – VINCENT GROIZELEAU) – Image: meretmarine.com
2 x torpedo launchers Eurotorp/WASS B515/3 for MU 90 torpedoes with Calzoni AHS (Automatic Handling System). The ships carry in total 19 torpedoes. Source navalanalyses.blogspot.com
Calzoni AHS (Automatic Handling System)
MU 90 torpedoes with Calzoni AHS (Automatic Handling System) Torpille MU90 (© DGA) – Image: meretmarine.com
Thales developed the integrated electronic warfare suite. Sagem was awarded a contract for the new-generation Dagaie system (NGDS) decoy system in January 2007.
Dagaie system (NGDS) decoy system
NGDS, ici sur le Chevalier Paul (© MER ET MARINE – VINCENT GROIZELEAU) – Image: meretmarine.com
The NGDS (New-Generation Dagaie System) is a NATO-compliant, flexible, self-defense electronic warfare unit based on decoy launchers and intended to counter multiple threats such as anti-ship missiles and torpedoes. With several mobile mountings that can be elevated and traversed, the NGDS is integrated in the ship’s combat system’s detection and warning system. The system has been designed for integration onboard frigates but a lighter version is available for smaller ships (displacement below 1000t).
A single NGDS system consists of two double-axis launchers each equipped with 12 decoys and a computer that selects the best-suited countermeasure against a given threat. Against missiles the NGDS can employ both infrared and radar decoys and acoustic decoys or jammer against incoming torpedoes. The lighter version aimed at ships under 1,000t only features a decoy launcher. So far, the NGDS have been selected for integration onboard the French Navy’s La Fayette, Horizon and FREMM frigates. Source deagel.com
The NGDS self-protection electronic warfare unit based on decoy launchers uses various anti-missile tactics:
- centroid seduction
- active seduction
- dump seduction (with a jammer)
- dilution, confusion or distraction
The system adapts to all types of short, medium and long-range munitions:
- IR or electromagnetic decoys
- Active Offboard Decoys (AOD)
- Anti-Torpedo Decoys (ATD)
- laser jammer
SLAT launchers with Canto-V anti-torpedo countermeasure system
SLAT, ici sur le Chevalier Paul (© MER ET MARINE – VINCENT GROIZELEAU) – Image: meretmarine.com
The CANTO-V is the next-generation anti-torpedo countermeasure system for existing and future surface ships developed by DCNS as part of the CONTRALTO-V product line. The CANTO-V countermeasure system consists of a pneumatic launcher and decoys designed to counter advanced torpedoes. CONTRALTO-V has been designed to operate with multiple launchers with the decoys being deployed following a ballistic trajectory. DCNS successfully conducted a series of test in May and June 2011. Source deagel.com
Aircraft landing deck of the European vessels
The frigate has an aft helicopter hangar and a helicopter deck of approximately 520m². The frigate is fitted with an emergency communication and remote briefing system with the ship’s helicopter. The French AVT frigates are fitted for a tactical unmanned air vehicle (TUAV). The AVT FREMM also has the capability to control long-endurance, medium and high-altitude (MALE and HALE) unmanned air vehicles launched from ground sites or from other platforms.
Le hangar hélicoptère (© MER ET MARINE – VINCENT GROIZELEAU) – Image meretmarine.comLe hangar hélicoptère (© MER ET MARINE – VINCENT GROIZELEAU) – Image meretmarine.comThe platform with the Samahé system (© MER ET MARINE – VINCENT GROIZELEAU) – Image meretmarine.comSamahé helicopter handling system
NH90 NFH: Details
Caïman Marine avec une MU90 d’entrainement (© MARINE NATIONALE) – Image meretmarine.com
Italian vessels are being fitted with the TC-ASIST helicopter handling system from Curtiss-Wright Controls of Charlotte, North Carolina.
Both the French and Italian frigates have gas turbines with two shafts driving fixed pitch propellers.
In March 2006, Avio of Italy was awarded the contract to supply the FREMM power plant for both countries, which will be the LM2500+G4 gas turbine, licensed-built from General Electric, which will provide 32MW of power.
The maximum speed is 27k. For quiet anti-submarine operations the shafts are driven by electric motors and the frigate’s speed in ASW silent mode is up to 15kt.
An azimuth thruster provides precision manoeuvring for quayside and harbour operations, station keeping and as a back-up emergency propulsion system.
This review of the capabilities of Normandy will be completed with its speedboats. The frigate has on each edge of a large niche hidden by a sliding curtain (used to limit the equivalent surface radar). Each niche will normally accommodate a semi-rigid boat, launching by means of davits.
Niche tribord de la Normandie (© MER ET MARINE – VINCENT GROIZELEAU) – Image meretmarine.com
The niches are also designed to house an ECUME, the new 9-meter rapid craft of the marine commando. The FREMM should also be very good platforms for special operations. Apart from the ECUME, they have space for the accommodation of commandos and their equipment, which can be deployed either by sea or by air via the helicopter platform. Translated by google – Source meretmarine.com
Engine propulsion control room (© SEA AND MARINE – VINCENT GROIZELEAU) – Image: meretmarine.com
The ship length is 113 m, beam 19 m and displacement 5,600 tonnes. A CODLAG propulsion arrangement is powered by a single Avio licensed General Electric LM2500+G4 gas turbine of 35 MW and four Isotta Fraschini VL 1716 C2ME diesel gensets each rated at 2,190 kW at 1,800 rpm. The French built FREMMs use four MTU 16V 4000 M63L diesel gensets each rated at 2,240 kW at 1,800 rpm.
Photo of a CODLAG gearbox for the Italian-French FREMM Class Frigate Photo Credit: Renk AG – Image: maritimepropulsion.com
The gearbox is a Renk design consisting of a cross-connect gear system, to split 35 MW gas turbine power equally between the two propellers. A cross connecting gear links each of the two propeller shafts. Each propeller shaft has one electric motor and supplies power either individually at cruising speed with clutches disconnected or connected to the gas turbine with the clutches engaged for full speed. Under diesel electric power the maximum speed is 15 kn and when combined with the gas turbine 28 kn.
Drawing of the CODLAG propulsion arrangement of the French-Italian FREMM Class Frigate Image Credit: Renk AG – Image: maritimepropulsion.com
Languedoc (653) gas turbine (© SEA AND MARINE – VINCENT GROIZELEAU) – Image: meretmarine.com
1 x General Electric LM2500
The General Electric LM2500 is an industrial and marine gas turbine produced by GE Aviation. The LM2500 is a derivative of the General Electric CF6 aircraft engine.
The LM2500 is available in 3 different versions:
- The LM2500 delivers 33,600 shaft horsepower (shp) (25,060 kW) with a thermal efficiency of 37 percent at ISO conditions. When coupled with an electric generator, it delivers 24 MW of electricity at 60 Hz with a thermal efficiency of 36 percent at ISO conditions.
- The improved, 3rd generation, LM2500+ version of the turbine delivers 40,500 shp (30,200 kW) with a thermal efficiency of 39 percent at ISO conditions. When coupled with an electric generator, it delivers 29 MW of electricity at 60 Hz with a thermal efficiency of 38 percent at ISO conditions.
- The latest, 4th generation, LM2500+G4 version was introduced in November 2005 and delivers 47,370 shp (35,320 kW) with a thermal efficiency of 39.3 percent at ISO conditions.
LM2500 installations place the engine inside a metal container for sound and heat isolation from the rest of the machinery spaces. This container is very near the size of a standard 40-foot (12 m) intermodal shipping container – but not the same, the engine size very slightly exceeds those dimensions. The air intake ducting may be designed and shaped appropriately for easy removal of the LM2500 from their ships. Source wikiwand.com
4 x Isotta Fraschini VL 1716 C2ME (Italy FREMM)
4 x MTU 16V 4000 M63L diesel gensets (French FREMM)
Main material source naval-technology.com
Revised Jan 02, 2016
Updated Apr 16, 2017
- OTO Melara 76/62 mm Super Rapid gun (on Italian Navy versions with Davide/Strales guided-ammunition)
- 2 x torpedo launchers Eurotorp/WASS B515/3 for MU 90 torpedoes with Calzoni AHS (Automatic Handling System)
- 1 x Selex ES NA-25 DARDO-F fire control system for the 76mm cannon
- 2 x SLAT (Systeme de Lutte Anti-Torpille) anti-torpedo system (into Italian Navy only for ASW version) ASW DLS (Anti Submarine Weapon Decoy Launcher System) based on Thales ALERT sonar system, DCNSRATO command system and WASS CMAT weapon system (with 12 tube launcher for 127 mm’s WASS C-310 decoy and jammers)
- NH90 helicopter, with capability for AW101, Cougar and Caracal
- Thales UMS 4110 CL hull sonar
- Thales UMS 4249 CAPTAS4 towed sonar (anti-submarine versions only)
- Thales TUUM-6 Underwater Telephone
- 2 x Sigen MM/SMQ-765 EW system: with JASS (Jamming Antenna Sub System) ECM, Nettuno 4100, by ELT Elettronica and Thales ESM (Communications and Radar ESM)
- 2 x SOFRESUD Quick Pointing Devices “QPD”
- 16 cells of SYLVER A43 VLS for Aster 15
- 16 cells of Sylver A70 VLS for SCALP Naval cruise missile with a range up to 1000 km
- MM-40 Exocet block 3, for naval and land attack
- Three Nexter 20mm Narwhal remote weapon systems
- NGDS decoy launcher
- Héraklès radar
- Terma Scanter 2001 radar
- Thales Artemis IRST
- SETIS combat system
- Sagem Najir fire control system for the 76mm gun
- Samahé helicopter handling system
- 16 cells of SYLVER A50 VLS for Aster 15 and Aster 30 missiles
- Space reserved for SYLVER A70 launchers for 16 SCALP Naval or similar cruise missile, but not fitted
- Selex ES IRST SASS
- another one Selex ES NA-25 DARDO-F fire control system for the second cannon (76/62 mm or 127/54 mm)
- Selex ES EMPAR active 3D radar (MFRA).
- Selex ES RASS (RAN-30X-I) surface radar (OTH)
- LPI navigation radar Selex ES SPN-730 and two navigation radar GEM-Elettronica MM/SPN-753
- Selex ES IFF SIR M5-PA; since the 7th FREMM-IT replaced with Leonardo-Finmeccanica IFF SIR M5-PA Conformal
- Selex ES Athena combat system (CMS), with 21, three displays, MFC (Multi Functional Consolle): 17 into COC, 2 in backup COC, 1 on bridge and 1 into Command Planning Room
- Selex ES SAAM-ESD extended area AAW combat system (for Aster 15 & Aster 30 missiles)
- 2 x OTO Melara SCLAR-H DLS Multipurpose Rocket Launcher
- 8 x Teseo\Otomat Mk-2/A block 4, for naval and land attack
- 2 x Oto Melara/Oerlikon 25/80 mm, remote weapon system, controlled by close CMS
- Curtiss-Wright TC-ASIST helicopter handling system (for both helicopters)
- WASS SNA-2000-I, Mine Avoidance Sonar
- L-3 ELAC Nautik SeaBeam 3050, Multi-beam echo sounder (only on ASW version)
- 1 x 7 m rigid-hulled inflatable boat release and recovery lateral systems (Stemar 6,8 m, FNM HPEP 225 HP engine, 38 knots, 6 crew)
- 1 x 11 m rigid-hulled inflatable boat release and recovery lateral systems
- 11 m rigid-hulled inflatable boat fast release and recovery system (only on GP version)
- ASW version: 2 x OTO Melara 76/62 mm Davide/Strales CIWS guns, one on the hangar (both with Strales guided-ammunitions) and 4 MILAS ASW missile
- GP version: 1 x OTO Melara 127/64 mm gun with Vulcano guided ammunition, with a range up to 120 km, and AAHS (Automated Ammunition Handling System) with 350 rounds + 56 in turret and a second OTO Melara 76/62 mm Davide/Strales CIWS gun on the hangar (with Strales guided-ammunitions)