Sunday, March 6, 2011
First French FREMM Frigate Readies for Sea Trials
In accordance with the Programme schedule, DCNS is completing equipment integration and harbour acceptance tests on board the first-of-class FREMM multi-mission frigate Aquitaine. All major ship systems must be tested before the major milestone of the first sea going, scheduled next spring.
So far 95% of the electrical and hydraulic equipments of the ship have been installed, so teams are ramping up for the harbour acceptance tests of the principal systems: the information and communication system, the navigation systems (navigation radar, early warning radar), the electric power and distribution system (including four diesel generators), the combat system and the propulsion system.
The first tests of the electric propulsion motors and of the gas turbine started over the last few days and have been successfully completed. For the first time the entire transmission system of the frigate was running, from the motors to the test propellers. This event is an important step, and moving moment, as it represents the first heartbeat of the frigate.
“From now on all our efforts are focused on the preparation of the first sea going scheduled for the spring”, points out Vincent Martinot-Lagarde, DCNS FREMM Programme Director.
Over one thousand components have already been assembled, integrated and embarked onboard the first FREMM: this underlines the magnitude of the work undertaken by the DCNS personnel. Further components will be installed over the coming weeks, including for example the propellers, the systems related to the ship safety at sea, the helicopter hangar door and the davits for the semi-rigid boats.
For the FREMM Aquitaine first sea trials to be both effective and conclusive, sixty men and women from the French Navy already trained for six months. Besides their regular visits onboard the frigate, they prepare themselves running a Ship Management System training platform in DCNS. Their task is to get familiar with a highly-automated ship which will eventually have a crew of only 108 persons (half the number needed for earlier-generation frigates).
FREMM: the most technologically-advanced and most competitive ships on the market
For DCNS, the FREMM Programme comprises twelve units, eleven for the French Navy and one for the Royal Moroccan Navy.
The FREMM frigates are the most technologically-advanced and most competitive ships on the market. Heavily armed, under prime contractor DCNS, they incorporate the highest-performance weapons systems and equipments, such as the Thales Héraclès Multi-Function Radar, an MBDA suite (SCALP Naval Cruise Missiles, Aster Surface-to-Air Missiles and Exocet MM 40 Anti-Ship Missiles) together with Eurotorp MU90 Torpedoes.
Versatile, they can respond to all types of threat. Innovative, they provide unrivalled interoperability and availability. Flexible, they are capable of meeting the needs of a very large number of navies, as demonstrated by the first DCNS FREMM contract for Morocco.
FREMM technical characteristics:
--Overall length: 142 metres
--Beam: 20 metres
--Displacement: 6,000 metric tons
--Maximum speed: 27 knots
--Crew: 108 persons (including helicopter detachment)
--Accommodation capacity: 145 men and women
--Endurance: 6,000 nautical miles at 15 knots