The multi-mission frigate (FREMM) FS Normandie left Brest, her future home port, on December 16, 2019 to carry out her long-term maiden cruise as she prepares for admission to active service. She embarked a Caiman Marine (NH90) helicopter detachment, bringing her total on-board personnel to 145 officers and ratings.
One of the objectives of this cruise, due to last for over three months in the northern Atlantic Ocean, is to verify, over time, the military capabilities of the vessel through a wide range of aero-maritime activities close to her future operational role.
The first phase of the cruise was marked by three port calls on the East Coast of the United States: New York, Norfolk and Boston, and by several joint training opportunities, notably with the US Navy.
The FREMM program aims to renew the frigate component of the French Navy. By 2025, the Navy will operate 15 first-rank frigates, including eight FREMMs. The “Normandie” is the sixth in the series after “Aquitaine,” “Provence,” “Languedoc,” “Auvergne” and “Bretagne” and will be followed by “Alsace” and “Lorraine,” both of which will have will have reinforced air-defense capabilities.
The FREMMs are intended to provide missions such as the control of an air-maritime operating area, precision strike in depth with the naval cruise missile (MdCN), anti-ship, anti-submarine and anti-aircraft warfare, crisis prevention, support and support for projection operations, command of a national or international naval force, and participation in maritime security missions.