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Naval Group delivers French frigate with bolstered capabilities


PARIS — Naval Group has delivered the FREMM Alsace, the first multimission frigate with enhanced air defense capabilities, to the Organisation for Joint Armament Co-operation, which received it April 16 in the Mediterranean port of Toulon on behalf of the French Navy.

OCCAR is a multinational defense group, and it is managing the FREMM program for the French and Italian navies.

Alsace’s role will be to provide anti-aircraft defense around the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle or around the Mistral-class helicopter landing docks as part of a naval air and amphibious group.

The first six FREMMs (Aquitaine, Provence, Languedoc, Auvergne, Bretagne and Normandie) were delivered between 2012 and 2019. They were designed for anti-submarine warfare. Alsace and the eighth frigate, Lorraine, which is scheduled for delivery next year, will have exactly the same anti-submarine warfare tools as the first six, but with the addition of strengthened anti-aircraft capabilities. Both frigates have an enhanced combat system, an optimized mast and a radar with greater range; they can also carry 10 extra crew members.

Like her sister ships, Alsace is armed with the 32 Aster 15 and 30 vertically launched missiles; eight Exocet MM40 Block 3 anti-ship missiles; 19 MU90 torpedoes; one 76mm main naval gun; four 12.7mm machine guns; two Narwhal 20mm remotely operated weapons; and one NH90 Caiman naval warfare helicopter.

Unlike the other FREMMs, however, the vessel has a new radar and an electro-optical fire control system; increased radar and communication capabilities; and Naval Group’s SETIS combat management system equipped with specific air defense functions.

The 6,000-ton FREMM frigate is 142 meters (466 feet) long and 20 meters wide. It can reach a maximum speed of 27 knots and has a range of 6,000 nautical miles at 15 knots.

Florence Parly, the French armed forces minister, presided the handing-over ceremony.

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