Naval Group Launches FREMM Lorraine, Second Frigate with Enhanced Air Defence Capability
(Source: Naval Group; issued Nov. 13, 2020)
Lorraine is the eighth and final Fremm frigate for the French Navy, which initially planned a fleet of 17 costing €6.5 billion. Because of successive budget cuts, however, France will end up a fleet of 13 frigates and 10 OPVs costing €13 billion, or twice of much. (NG photo)
LORIENT, France --- Naval Group has launched the FREMM Lorraine [here] on Friday 13th November. This ship was ordered by the French General Directorate of Armament (DGA) on behalf of the French Navy. The program management is entrusted to the Organization for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR). The FREMM Lorraine is the tenth unit of the FREMM series produced by Naval Group, and the eighth and last one added to the French Navy’s fleet.

It is also the second FREMM frigate of the FREMM Defense Aérienne (DA), presenting an enhanced air defence capability.

The French Minister of Armed Forces (Minister of Defence) Florence Parly, Admiral Pierre Vandier, Chief of Staff of the French Navy, and General Engineer Emmanuelle Thivillier, in charge of naval programs at the French General Directorate of Armament (DGA) as well as the Chairman and CEO of Naval Group, Pierre Eric Pommellet, alongside employees from the Lorient site participated to the launching ceremony.

Eighth French Navy FREMM frigate

Fifty-four months after the start of the production, the FREMM DA Lorraine left the construction form of Naval Group site in Lorient. This operation took place on Friday 13th November 2020, fully complying with the schedule set by the Military Planning Law, while respecting the safety and health rules currently enforced.

Technical adaptations have been made on both FREMM DA such as a more powerful multifunction radar supplied by Thales, enhanced communications, three additional consoles of the Setis Combat Management System in the "central operations center" with an enhanced air defence capability through the use of Aster 15 and Aster 30 missiles. The FREMM DA also benefits from a new mast, optimized to increase detection performance. In addition to performing the same anti-submarine warfare missions as the previous FREMMs, the FREMM DAs will be responsible for the air defence of major units: Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier, or amphibious helicopter carriers (PHA) as part of the naval or amphibious air group.

More generally, the FREMM frigates integrate the evolution of systems over time to ensure the latest units of the series benefit from the latest technologies such as: additional cyber capabilities, deployment of Liaison 22 (liaison between NATO military units), integration of a tactical digital table, etc.

Meeting the operational requirements of French Procurement Agency (DGA)

"Throughout this demanding program, we have maintained close ties with our customer, in order to best respond to the expectations and the technological challenges regarding the onboard innovations. This feedback led us to change our industrial organization. Modular construction, supply chain optimization and block pre-fabrication have reduced construction lead times and, ultimately, production costs. As a result, we have gained in efficiency and performance, while at the same time improving the working conditions of our employees, which has led to a considerable reduction in accidents at work. We are proud to launch today the latest French FREMM,” declared Laurent Espinasse, Executive Vice-President for Industry at Naval Group.

Naval Group's site in Lorient offers industrial infrastructures that enable us to meet the technical and technological challenges of the latest generations of military ships, including a 15,000 m2 covered construction form.

The design tools and methods have evolved considerably during the FREMM program thanks to virtual reality. All of the ship's data, including equipment operating data, is integrated into a digital mock-up. The infrastructures have also been modernized, including the extension and renovation of the construction nave, the installation of three covered paint booths and the extension of the quay.

Ensuring the preservation of key competencies

To deliver frigates with the required military performance, Naval Group has mobilized no less than 250 skills throughout the program. Some of them are very specific and rare and are often the result of a long or even very long acquisition: sheet metal carpenter, formator-straightener, hull welder, pipe fitter...

Naval Group promotes the recruitment of young talents and has recruited 400 work-study students since the beginning of the year and even during the sanitary crisis. This is 50 more than in 2019 and Naval Group site in Lorient is home to 58 of them.

Naval Group is also implementing specific training programs to develop these rare and unique skills, through the introduction of the certificate of joint qualification of metallurgy (CQPM). This certification training, takes place alternatively in a training organization and in industrial workshops over twelve months. A CQPM carpenter-sheet metal worker was opened in September 2019, in collaboration with the IUMM of Lorient, at a Naval Group site in Lorient.

Technical characteristics of FREMM DA

The FREMM program has been running on a stable schedule since the last Military Planning Law. Eight units of the FREMM series have been delivered between 2012 and 2019. Aquitaine in 2012, Provence in 2015, Languedoc in 2016, Auvergne in April 2017, Bretagne in July 2018 and Normandie in July 2019. Alsace was launched on April 18, 2019 and will be delivered in 2021. Internationally, the Mohammed VI was delivered to Morocco in 2014 and the Tahya Misr was delivered in Egypt in 2015.

FREMM DA Alsace is heavily armed and uses the most powerful weapons systems and equipment such as the Herakles multifunction radar, the Aster 15 and 30 and Exocet MM 40 missiles and the MU 90 torpedoes.

The performance of her combat system is enhanced with increased radar and communication capabilities, new radar and electro-optical fire control and a SETIS Combat Management System with specific air defence functions.

Technical characteristics
-- Overall length: 142 meters
-- Beam: 20 meters
-- Displacement: 6,000 tons
-- Maximum speed: 27 knots
-- Crew capacity: 123 people (+ 14 people for the helicopter detachment)
-- Accommodation capacity: 165 people
-- Endurance: 6 000 nautical miles to 15 knots


Naval Group is the European leader in naval defence. Naval Group uses its extraordinary know-how, unique industrial resources and capacity to arrange innovative strategic partnerships to meet its customers’ requirements. As a system-integrator and prime contractor, the group designs, produces and supports submarines and surface ships. It also supplies services to shipyards and naval bases. The group reports revenues of 3.7 billion euros and has a workforce of 15,168 (data for 2019).

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