New Success in Egypt for DCNS and its FREMM Frigate (plus some technical details)

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Naval Industry News - France, Egypt
 
 
 
New Success in Egypt for DCNS and its FREMM Frigate (plus some technical details)
 
On Monday 16 February, DCNS signed a contract with the Ministry of Defence of the Arab Republic of Egypt for the supply of a FREMM multi-mission frigate. This agreement strengthens the strategic relations initiated by DCNS last July with the signing of a contract to supply four Gowind® 2500 corvettes. Egypt becomes the second export customer of the FREMM after Morocco.
     
On Monday 16 February, DCNS signed a contract with the Ministry of Defence of the Arab Republic of Egypt for the supply of a FREMM multi-mission frigate. This agreement strengthens the strategic relations initiated by DCNS last July with the signing of a contract to supply four Gowind® 2500 corvettes. Egypt becomes the second export customer of the FREMM after Morocco.
The FREMM Normandie during sea trials (note the 32x SYLVER vertical launch systems)
Picture: DCNS

     
Hervé Guillou, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of DCNS, declared: “I would like to thank the Egyptian authorities for the trust they have once again placed in us, for the participation in the modernization of their defence system. DCNS will be keen to demonstrate that this trust is justified. The Group will do its utmost to ensure that this program is completed successfully.”

The frigate, the current Normandie, will be delivered mid-2015 after some outfitting work, and the first phase of the training programme. The logistics and support services provided to the Egyptian Navy will then continue over several years.

For Hervé Guillou, “With this historical agreement, DCNS is pursuing a policy of long-term partnership with the Egyptian Navy and its shipyards, with whom we plan to invest in the long-term to develop their skills and industrial facilities. In addition, strengthening our relations opens new perspectives for the sale of vessels.”

The FREMM delivered to the Egyptian Navy will be taken from the series currently under construction for the French Navy. To ensure that the operational capacities of the French Navy will not be affected, DCNS will speed up the rate of production of subsequent ships.

“I would like to stress that this success would not have been possible without a close-knit team in France and the tireless support of the French state services, in particular the French defence procurement agency (DGA) and the French Navy, who accepted the postponement of delivery of its second frigate.”
     
On Monday 16 February, DCNS signed a contract with the Ministry of Defence of the Arab Republic of Egypt for the supply of a FREMM multi-mission frigate. This agreement strengthens the strategic relations initiated by DCNS last July with the signing of a contract to supply four Gowind® 2500 corvettes. Egypt becomes the second export customer of the FREMM after Morocco.
Signature of the FREMM contract between Hervé Guillou President of DCNS and the Chief of Egyptian Navy, in presence of French Defence Minister Le Drian and Egyptian President Al-Sissi.
     
FREMM technical characteristics

Multi-mission frigates are versatile vessels able to respond to all types of air, marine, submarine or land threats. FREMM frigates are at the cutting edge of technology and are perfectly suited to ensuring that client navies are able to respond to current threats and the growing needs of maritime security.

Overall length: 142 metres
Width: 20 metres
Displacement: 6,000 tonnes
Maximum speed: 27 knots
Crew: 108 persons (helicopter detachment included)
Accommodation capacity: 145 men and women
Range: 6,000 nautical miles at 15 knots

Link to FREMM Frigate (Aquitaine class) technical datasheet
     
Navy Recognition's video report on board FREMM Normandie recorded in 2014
     
Comment and additional details
Egypt is reinforcing its naval capabilities in prevision of the new Suez Canal opening planned for this summer. Navy Recognition learned that DCI will be in charge of the formation of the Egyptian sailors. The Normandie Frigate was originally expected to be commissioned with the French Navy at the end of 2014. The same frigate was supposed to conduct the first live firing test of MBDA's Naval Cruise Missile (NCM) late last year or early this year. A source from the French defense industry explained to Navy Recognition the NCM mission computers would be taken off board because the Egyptian Navy won't be getting the cruise missiles (because of export restriction). It is not clear whether or not other equipment will be taken off, such as the 16x Sylver A70 vertical launch systems (strike length VLS used to accommodate the NCM), the two Nexter Narwhal remote weapon systems and the two SIGEN R ECM Electronic Warfare systems. DCNS, MBDA, Thales and Nexter didn't wish to comment on these technical aspects.

It has to be noted that the above systems are not present on the Mohammed VI Frigate sold to the Royal Moroccan Navy and this FREMM is only fitted with 16x Sylver A50 vertical launch systems for 16x ASTER 15 missiles. The current Normandie will probably end up looking like the Mohammed VI once delivered to Egypt unless:
» The Egyptian Navy could have made the request to replace the 16x Sylver A70 with a second row of A50 model in order to deploy up to 32x ASTER 15 SAM.
» For commonality with its four future Gowind corvettes, the Egyptian Navy may have requested to replace the A70 VLS with A43 model: The FREMM would then be fitted with 16x VLS cells similar to those fitted on its corvettes and would therefore be able to launch up to 16x VL MICA missiles in addition to the 16x ASTER 15.
» An even cheaper alternative of course would be to leave the 16x A70 cells in place since they can launch ASTER 15 missiles as well. The Egyptian Navy FREMM would then be able to deploy up to 32x ASTER 15.

Another unknown is the helicopter. FREMM Frigates are very potent anti-submarine warfare designed from the start to operate with a dedicated ASW helicopter, an NH90 NFH in the case of the French Navy. An helicopter was not part of the deal. Egypt will probably use one of its Kaman SH-2G Super Seasprites until they procure NH90 or Panther maritime helicopters from Airbus Helicopters. The possibilities are many and we will have to wait to find out the final configuration of the future Egyptian Navy FREMM, the current Normandie.
     
On Monday 16 February, DCNS signed a contract with the Ministry of Defence of the Arab Republic of Egypt for the supply of a FREMM multi-mission frigate. This agreement strengthens the strategic relations initiated by DCNS last July with the signing of a contract to supply four Gowind® 2500 corvettes. Egypt becomes the second export customer of the FREMM after Morocco.
French Navy picture showing the forward section of the Royal Moroccan Navy's FREMM Mohammed VI. Note that there are only 16x SYLVER vertical launch systems.
 

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