On 18 October 2012, DCNS celebrated the launch of FREMM multimission frigate Normandie in the presence of Jean-Yves Le Drian, French Minister for Defence, and Pierre Moscovici, Minister for the Economy and Finance. This latest success is a further demonstration of DCNS’s industrial vigour and vitality, with six multimission frigates currently under construction.
Patrick Boissier, Chairman & CEO of DCNS, commented: “The FREMM programme is a vivid testament to DCNS’s industrial performance and our ability to meet the technical and economic expectations of our customers. This performance is all the more remarkable since it is achieved as part of an initiative to bring production work back under our own roof, where competitive, rather than outsource it to shipyards in low-cost countries. In this way, we’re proud to be contributing, with our partners, to the development of local employment in and around our centres.”
More than 500 DCNS personnel and guests watched as the third of the 12 FREMM multimission frigates on DCNS’s orderbook was floated out of the building dock at the Group’s Lorient facility. During the 15-minute operation, FREMM Normandie was manoeuvred by tugs to the quayside, where it will remain for the next few months while DCNS teams and subcontractors continue construction and assembly work.
The next major phase is installation of the mast infrastructure, which will house the vessel’s sensor suites (radars, antennas, cameras, jammers, etc.).
Construction of FREMM Normandie, the third unit of the class, got underway in October 2009. This next-generation multimission frigate will carry a complement of 108, or around half as many as previous-generation vessels with similar capabilities. It will offer highly flexible capabilities for anti-air, anti-surface and anti-submarine missions.
FREMM, a major programme for DCNS and partners
The French FREMM programme calls for 12 ships – 11 for the French Navy. They were ordered by the French defence procurement agency (DGA), which appointed OCCAr, the joint armaments cooperation organisation, to oversee the programme. The 12th vessel will be built for the Royal Moroccan Navy.
FREMM frigates are built under DCNS prime contractorship. They are among the most technologically advanced and competitively priced vessels on the world market. These heavily armed warships carry state-of-the-art weapons and systems including the Herakles multifunction radar, Aster anti-air missiles, Exocet MM40 anti-ship missiles and MU90 torpedoes.
They are inherently versatile to provide a response to all types of threats. World-leading innovation ensures that they offer unparalleled levels of interoperability and readiness. As demonstrated by the export contract with the Royal Moroccan Navy, they are also designed to meet the needs and expectations of international client navies.
To date, six FREMM frigates are under construction at DCNS’s Lorient shipyard:
- First-of-class FREMM Aquitaine will be delivered to the French Navy by the end of 2012
- FREMM Mohammed VI, the second unit of the class, for the Royal Moroccan Navy, was launched on September 2011
- FREMM Normandie, the third of the class, has now been launched
- FREMM Provence, the fourth of the class, will soon enter the assembly phase in the building dock vacated by FREMM Normandie
- FREMM frigates Languedoc and Auvergne, the fifth and sixth of the class, entered construction in September 2011 and August 2012 respectively
DCNS designs, builds and supports submarines and surface combatants. It also proposes services for naval shipyards and bases. Last but not least, DCNS offers a range of solutions in civil nuclear engineering and marine renewable energy. The DCNS Group employs 13,000 people and generates annual revenues of around €2.6 billion.