DCNS has achieved formal qualification of the FREMM frigate Aquitaine’s flight deck for operations with the Lynx helicopter. This milestone was reached several months ahead of schedule after a successful deck landing campaign at sea, organised by the French defence procurement agency (DGA) in early February. Trials were conducted with a Lynx helicopter operated by the French Navy.
Trials to qualify the flight deck of the first-of-class FREMM frigate were conducted in early February and supervised by the DGA. French Navy test pilots completed several series of approaches and as many as 50 deck landings with a Lynx five-tonne class helicopter. The operations were a complete success. In particular, the pilots appreciated the absence of turbulence above the flight deck in all landing positions.
“This qualification milestone further demonstrates the excellent progress we are making on the programme,” said Vincent Martinot-Lagarde, FREMM programme manager. “DCNS teams stepped up their efforts to ensure that all the equipment needed for deck landing trials on the vessel was ready ahead of the initial schedule. This first qualification of the FREMM flight deck was initially planned to take place after delivery.”
As well as the high quality of the safety, communication and navigation systems used for helicopter approach, landing and handling operations, the DGA teams and French Navy crew appreciated the intuitive layout of the flight deck control room used to coordinate helicopter operations. The control room was designed with the aid of 3D tools and offers unprecedented levels of comfort and usability.
Thanks to the concerted efforts of all the teams involved, FREMM frigate Aquitaine has demonstrated its ability to launch and land Lynx helicopters. The vessel’s hangar area is designed to accommodate one of the NH90 Caiman heavy lift (10-tonne class) helicopters now in service with the French Navy. The first deck landing trials with a Caiman will be conducted in the coming weeks.
FREMM, a major programme for DCNS and partners
The French FREMM programme calls for 12 ships — 11 for the French Navy and one for the Royal Moroccan Navy.
FREMM frigates are among the most technologically advanced and competitively priced on the world market. These heavily armed warships are being built under DCNS prime contractorship to carry state-of-the-art weapons and systems including the Herakles multifunction radar, MdCN cruise missiles, 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.
The contract to build a FREMM frigate for the Royal Moroccan Navy demonstrates that the type also meets the needs and expectations of international client navies.
FREMM Technical Data
- Length overall: 142 m
- Beam: 20 m
- Displacement: 6,000 tonnes
- Max. speed: 27 knots
- Complement: 108 (including helicopter crew)
- Accommodation: 145 men and women
- Range: 6,000 nm (at 15 knots)
DCNS is a world leader in naval defence and an innovative player in energy. The Group’s success as an advanced technology company with global reach is built on meeting customer needs by deploying exceptional know-how and unique industrial resources. DCNS designs, builds and supports surface combatants, submarines and associated systems and infrastructure, and provides specialised services for naval bases and shipyards. The Group employs 12,500 people and generates annual revenues of around EUR 2.5 billion.