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18 avril 2013 4 18 /04 /avril /2013 16:09
FREMM Morocco

FREMM Morocco

18 April 2013 by defenceWeb

The Royal Moroccan Navy’s FREMM frigate yesterday began sea trials off the coast of Brittany in preparation for delivery to the North African country later this year.

Its builder DCNS said that after putting to sea for the first time yesterday, the frigate will begin several weeks of sea trials. During this first period at sea, the crew ( made up of French Navy personnel, Moroccan Navy representatives and DCNS employees) will focus primarily on the performance of the ship's propulsion system and navigation system.

"This milestone is the culmination of a remarkable team effort by DCNS, our partners and suppliers, the trials crew and customer representatives," said Anne Bianchi, director of FREMM frigate programmes at DCNS.

"The FREMM frigates are designed and built by DCNS to meet the needs of many navies around the world, as demonstrated by this first export sale to Morocco. They are among the most technologically advanced and competitively priced vessels on the world market, and are inherently versatile to provide a response to all types of threats. They offer a range of innovative features and unparalleled levels of interoperability and operational readiness."

The teams on board the Royal Moroccan Navy’s vessel will work day and night to conduct a series of tests. The first three days of the campaign, known as the 'familiarisation' phase, will be used to test the vessel's safety systems and equipment, including fire-fighting, flood control and emergency response systems and evacuation procedures as well as manoeuvrability and mooring performance.

The second phase will focus on the propulsion system. The FREMM's hybrid CODLOG (COmbined Diesel eLectric Or Gas) power package combines electric motors for low-speed silent-mode propulsion and a gas turbine for high-speed mechanical propulsion, with a maximum speed in excess of 27 knots. This gives a range of 6 000 nm at 15 knots.

In addition, the DCNS teams will also test the ship's navigation systems (log, position, heading) and its inertial platforms for precise positioning anywhere in the world.

In the next few weeks, over 150 people, including 60 French Navy personnel, will spend time on this second FREMM frigate. To save the ship returning to port, people will be ferried out and back on a daily basis.

On completing these preliminary trials, the frigate will return to DCNS's Lorient shipyard for several days of quayside work. A few weeks later, it will put to sea for a second campaign of trials focusing on the combat system.

While these first sea trials are taking place, some of the Royal Moroccan Navy personnel who will crew the new vessel are beginning simulator-based training at DCNS's Lorient facility to familiarise themselves with the vessel and its systems. This training programme will be ramped up over the next few months as further members of the future crew arrive, DCNS said.

“The exceptional seakeeping qualities of the FREMM frigates have already been demonstrated by the first-of-class Aquitaine, delivered to the French Navy in November 2012,” DCNS said. Aquitaine, the lead ship of the FREMM class, is undergoing an extended deployment to further test its capabilities.

The FREMM programme includes 12 ships, 11 for the French Navy and one for the Royal Moroccan Navy.

Morocco’s US$676 million contract for the frigate was finalised with DCNS in April 2008 and construction began at Lorient in December 2008. It will be delivered to the Royal Moroccan Navy before the end of 2013 and will be named Mohammed VI.

The current Moroccan fleet includes two Floréal-class frigates and a Descubierta-class corvette in addition to some 21 patrol craft and a number of other ships and vessels. Four more patrol craft are also on order.

Four other FREMM multimission frigates are at various stages of completion at DCNS's Lorient shipyard: Normandie, the third in the series, will begin sea trials at the end of the year and will be delivered to the French Navy in 2014; Provence is now fully built and will be floated out of the building dock in the fourth quarter of 2013, while the fifth and sixth of the series are under construction.

The multirole FREMM frigates have been designed for several roles, including anti-air, anti-ship and anti-submarine warfare. They feature Herakles multifunction radar, Aster anti-air missiles, MdCN cruise missiles, Exocet MM40 anti-ship missiles, MU90 torpedoes and an Otobreda 76 mm gun. Each vessel is 142 metres long, has a beam of 20 metres and displaces 6 000 tonnes.

Although there is accommodation for 145 personnel, the standard complement is 108 including the helicopter crew. The frigate has an aft helicopter hangar and deck able to accommodate medium helicopters like the NH90, EH101 and Cougar.

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photo Marine Nationale

photo Marine Nationale

Apr 18, 2013 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: French navy; issued April 17, 2013)

(Issued in French only; unofficial translation by defense-aerospace.com)

As part of the process leading to its admission to active duty, the European multi-mission frigate Aquitaine, the lead ship of the FREMM class, which handed over to the French navy in November 2012 to the Navy, is performing an extended deployment from February 9 to 10 May 2013. This is the second phase of the "verification of military capabilities" (VCM) process.

This is an extended period at sea, at long distances from home waters, and with its full crew to test and evaluate the ship and its systems, and to ensure its crew have mastered its capabilities.

Thus, during the North American leg of its deployment, Aquitaine joined several U.S. Navy vessels off the coast of South Carolina to take part, from March 30 to April 4, 2013 in the training exercise "Independent Deployer."

This exercise has helped to highlight the versatility of Aquitaine.

Opposed to a group of vessels and aircraft of the U.S. Navy, the FREMM and its Caïman helicopter accompanied several American ships and were able to detect, track and engage fictitious coalition enemies.

The interoperability of tactical data links enabled the Aquitaine, as well as the other ships, to share with the entire force data and information collected by its own sensors, which is indispensable for effective joint operations. Thanks to secure "chats," the operations center crew kept in permanent contact with the task force command and with allied vessels, and perfectly assumed their role within the task force.

The Caïman naval helicopter (NFR90) proved especially valuable. Its long range and state-of-the-art surface search radar effectively multiplied Aquitaine’s detection ranges, and formed a particularly effective and promising addition to France’s naval forces.

After several days of a full and varied workout, the FREMM demonstrated that it had earned its place in a combined force. Its valuable technical capabilities, combined with those of her Caïman helicopter and the expertise of its sailors, allowed the ship to fully meet the challenge of her first Allied exercise.

For Captain Benoit Rouvière, commander of the Aquitaine, "This confrontation is essential: it should provide a clear measure of the state of maturity of the combat system and, more generally, confirms the ability of the most modern ship in the French fleet to take its place in a demanding environment. The result exceeded my expectations.”

FREMM Technical Characteristics

- total length: 142.2 meters

- beam: 19.7 meters

- displacement: 6,040 tonnes

- maximum speed: 27 knots

- Crew: 108 officers and ratings

- 4 x 324mm torpedo tubes (MU90 torpedoes)

- 1 x 76mm gun turret

- 2 x 20mm automatic cannons

- 4 x 12.7mm machine guns

- 8 MM40 Exocet anti-ship missiles

- 1 x SAAM surface-to-air and anti-missile system (Aster 15 missiles)

- MDCN naval cruise missiles.

photo Marine Nationale

photo Marine Nationale

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