On February 14, 2018, the Chief of the Naval Staff admitted to active service Auvergne, the 4th multi-mission frigate (FREMM). Now declared fit for combat by the Navy, she joins Aquitaine, Provence and Languedoc, her three sister-ships in the FREMM class.
This admission is the culmination of a process of verification of the ship's military capabilities. In 2017, Auvergne was deployed for more than four months in diversified areas of operations: the Mediterranean Sea, the China Sea, the Indian Ocean, the Persian Gulf and the Pacific Ocean.
This deployment was marked by its integration into Task Force 50, formed around the US aircraft carrier Nimitz, and the Combined Task Force 150, the multinational naval force fighting against illicit trafficking. Auvergne also helped show France's commitment to respect for international law and the freedom of navigation, particularly in the China Sea.
Auvergne confirmed the already recognized qualities of the FREMM-class as modern, versatile, enduring and flexible vessels. They meet the needs of maritime rescue missions, the gathering of information in all three dimensions, and the requirements of high-intensity conflicts: control of a zone of air-sea operations, anti-ship, anti-submarine and anti-air missions, and support of projection operations, command of a national or combined naval air force, etc.
Two major assets are worth highlighting: the ability that France now has to strike accurately from the sea and in depth, with the MdCN naval cruise missile, and its unequaled performance in anti-submarine warfare, thanks to the alliance of the ship’s hull-mounted sonars and her embarked (NH90) Cayman helicopter.
With this fourth FREMM frigate, the French Navy reinforces its ability to ensure France’s security, both in its own waters and on the high seas.
The future LPM multi-year funding law confirms the importance of first-rank frigates that contribute to all strategic functions. Thus, to reach the target of 15 frigates of first rank, four intermediate-size frigates (FTI) will be ordered and two delivered by 2025.
The last four FREMMs will have been delivered in 2025, the final two with enhanced air defense capabilities.