France to Construct New FDI-Class-Frigates

France to Construct New FDI-Class-Frigates 28 October, 2019

The steel-cutting ceremony of the first defence and intervention frigate (Frégate de Défense et d'Intervention /FDI) took place on the Naval Group site of Lorient. The ceremony was held in the presence of the Minister for Armed Forces, Florence Parly, the Head of the French Armament Directorate (DGA) Délégué Général pour l’Armement, Joël Barre, the Chief of Staff of the French Navy Christophe Prazuck, the Chief of the Hellenic Navy Nikolaos Tsounis, Naval Group CEO, Hervé Guillou.

The FDI is a 4,500-ton surface combatant with a crew of 125 officers and ratings. They will be capable of participating in all combat areas on the high seas and will incorporate many innovations, including the world's first fully-digital fixed panel radar.

The FDI program was launched in 2017. The 2019-2025 military programme law provides for the first two IDF to be delivered to the French Navy by 2025. Five IDF will be serving with the French Navy in 2030. On Admiral Prazuck's proposal, the Minister of Armed Forces has decided that one of them will bear the name of Admiral Louzeau, who recently passed away.

The FDI is a high sea vessel with a 4,500 tons class displacement. Multipurpose and resilient, she is capable of operating, alone or within a naval force, through all of the types of warfare: anti-surface, anti-air, anti-submarine and allows for special forces projection.

New-generation on-board equipment includes a fixed four-panel radar that provides 360-degree continuous monitoring on a single mast, and launchers capable of firing several types of anti-aircraft missiles depending on the threat.

Ship is armed with Exocet MM40 B3C anti-surface missiles, Aster 15/30 anti-air missiles, MU90 antisubmarine torpedoes and the artillery. The FDI can embark a helicopter and an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) simultaneously. She can also receive a Special Forces detachment with their two commando boats.

The FDI will be the first French frigate natively protected against cyber threats, with a Data Centre accommodating a significant part of the ship applications. The FDI introduces the concept of a dedicated system for asymmetric threats warfare, distinct from the operation room. Located behind the bridge, it will lead to asymmetrical warfare against air and surface threats such as mini-UAVs or tricked boats.

According to the Letter of Intention signed on the 10th of October 2019 by the Greek Minister of Defence, Nicolaos Panagiotopoulos, Hellenic Navy is interested in the ship.

The first FDI was ordered in April 2017 by the Directorate General of Armament (DGA) to the Naval Group shipyard group, teamed with Thales and MBDA. Its delivery to the Navy is scheduled for the end of 2023.



Key figures:

-- Displacement: 4,500 tons class

-- Length: 122 meters

-- Beam: 18 meters

-- Max. speed: 27 knots

-- Autonomy: 45 days

-- Accommodation: 125 + 28 passengers


Issue 86