French Navy receives FREMM Alsace from Naval Group

According to information published by the French Armed Forces on April 16, 2021, Naval Group delivered the FREMM DA Alsace at the French Navy during a ceremony with the French Minister of Armed Forces Florence Parly. FREMM Alsace D656 is the first of the two air defense frigates of the FREMM program. It also incorporates several capability upgrades in response to rapidly changing technologies (communications, cyber defense, etc.).
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Aquitaine-class frigate Alsace D656 at Toulon (Picture source: Naval Group)

Indeed, the FREMM program benefits from the best equipment on the market and calls on a large number of companies, including Thales, MBDA, Sagem, Jeumont, MTU, Oto Melara and Avio.

Alsace will be based in Toulon, where the teams of the Services Department will deploy all their industrial resources and skills to ensure the operational availability of this ship.

Alsace (D656) is an Aquitaine-class frigate of the French Navy developed through the FREMM multipurpose frigate program. She is the first of two air-defence variants of the class known as FREMM DA (Frégate Européenne Multimissions de Défense Aérienne) in the program.

The FREMM DA uses the most advanced 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.

Like the other units of the FREMM series, she carries the NH90 helicopter (Caïman Marine), whose use is supported by the SAMAHE® system supplied by Naval Group.

The performance of her combat system are strengthened with increased radar and communication capabilities, a new radar and electro-optical fire control system as well as Naval Group SETIS® Combat Management System equipped with specific air defense functions.

The ships also incorporate Sylver A50 vertical launch systems permitting them to carry both MBDA Aster 15 and/or 30 surface-to-air missiles. On the two AAW variants, the Sylver A70 launch systems (used for land-attack cruise missiles on the ASW variants) are removed to provide space for fitting double the number of A50 cells for Aster SAMs.

The FREMM Program is an European naval defence project assigned to OCCAR (Organisation Conjointe de Coopération en matière d'Armement / Organisation for Joint Armament Co-operation) that was launched in 2005. The FREMM program consists of the construction of 18 ships including 8 for France, 10 for Italy. The FREMM is built in Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASM/ASW), Anti-Air Warfare (FREDA) and General Purpose (GP) versions.