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French Navy Lafayette Class Frigates Crotale SAM Systems May Be Replaced with SADRAL
 
During the Euronaval 2016 press tour held last week, an MBDA representative explained that French Navy (Marine Nationale) Lafayette-class frigates existing Crotale SAM system may be replaced with SADRAL launchers. "It is one of the options being considered for the upgrade" the representative said. According to an update to the French Military Planning Law (Loie de Programmation Militaire) released in May 2015, the Lafayette-class is set to receive an upgrade in the near future.
During the Euronaval 2016 press tour held last week, an MBDA representative explained that French Navy (Marine Nationale) Lafayette-class frigates existing Crotale SAM system may be replaced with SADRAL launchers. "It is one of the options being considered for the upgrade" the representative said. According to an update to the French Military Planning Law (Loi de Programmation Militaire) released in May 2015, the Lafayette-class is set to receive an upgrade in the near future.
 
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EURONAVAL 2016 Online Show Daily - Lafayette class Frigates upgrade
 
 
 
French Navy Lafayette Class Frigates Crotale SAM Systems May Be Replaced with SADRAL
 
During the Euronaval 2016 press tour held last week, an MBDA representative explained that French Navy (Marine Nationale) Lafayette class frigates' existing Crotale SAM system may be replaced with SADRAL launchers. "It is one of the options being considered for the upgrade" the representative said. According to an update to the French Military Planning Law (Loi de Programmation Militaire) released in May 2015, the Lafayette-class is set to receive an upgrade in the near future.
     
During the Euronaval 2016 press tour held last week, an MBDA representative explained that French Navy (Marine Nationale) Lafayette-class frigates existing Crotale SAM system may be replaced with SADRAL launchers. "It is one of the options being considered for the upgrade" the representative said. According to an update to the French Military Planning Law (Loie de Programmation Militaire) released in May 2015, the Lafayette-class is set to receive an upgrade in the near future.
The French Navy Lafayette class frigate Aconit during DIMDEX 2016 in Qatar
     
Two SADRAL launchers with 6x Mistral surface to air missiles each would be fitted on top of the helicopter hangar to replace the existing Crotale laucher (with 8x missiles). Navy Recognition believes this upgrade would address two major obsolescences: The ageing Crotale missiles (designed in the 70ies and produces in the 80ies) are nearing the end of their shelf life. In addition, according to our information, Crotale's effectiveness against modern sea-skimming anti-ship missiles is limited.

The upgrade would be fairly affordable as the plan is to re-use existing launchers currently fitted aboard the Georges Leygues-class ASW Frigates (as they are being replaced by FREMM Frigates). The Mistral is an infrared homing surface-to-air missile with an effective firing range up to 6 km and a speed of Mach 2.7.
     
During the Euronaval 2016 press tour held last week, an MBDA representative explained that French Navy (Marine Nationale) Lafayette-class frigates existing Crotale SAM system may be replaced with SADRAL launchers. "It is one of the options being considered for the upgrade" the representative said. According to an update to the French Military Planning Law (Loie de Programmation Militaire) released in May 2015, the Lafayette-class is set to receive an upgrade in the near future.
SADRAL launcher aboard a Cassard-class Frigate
     
Excerpt from the French MoD Military Planning Law Update of May 2015 (unofficial translation):
Frigates
The construction and admission to active duty of multi-mission frigates (FREMM) started before 2014 will continue: 6 will be delivered before mid-2019. The next two, delivered in 2021 and 2022, will have enhanced capacity to replace the two Cassard class air defense frigates. Rounding up to a capacity of 15 first-class frigates and comply with the principle of differentiation, a new program of "intermediate size frigates" (FTI) is advanced, with a target of first delivery in 2023.
In this context, a renovation program for the Lafayette class stealth frigates will be launched during the period: Renovations will be carried out over the scheduled technical shutdowns. These frigates renovation will consists (among other things) in the fitting of a sonar system. They will carry out the tasks arising from operational contracts in the transition phase that will accompany the delivery of future midsize frigates (FTI).
The FREMM will be fitted with naval cruise missile (MdCN) from 2015, the anti-ship missile Exocet MM 40 B3 extended range, anti-submarine torpedo MU 90, NFH90 ASW helicopter and ASTER air defense missile.


In July 2016, Navy Recognition contacted the French Navy Lafayette-class Programme Officer to learn more about the upgrade programme.

Navy Recognition: What is the scope of the modernization ?
French Navy: For 20 years, La Fayette-class frigates have been involved in every French Navy operations (Atalanta Corymbe, Triggerfish, Harmattan, Chammal, etc.). This mid-life modernization will provide the class with anti-submarine warfare capabilities pending the arrival of mid-size frigates (FTI). This modernization program is still in the process of discussion; the possibilities are not yet finalized.

Navy Recognition: What new capabilities will the Lafayette-class frigates get?
French Navy: The Lafayettes cover a wide spectrum of missions and are stretched operationally. It is therefore essential to keep them up-to-date. The renovation program will upgrade the vessels. The modernization of Lafayettes will also allow the addition of a hull sonar for ASW missions, strengthening the intelligence capability of the French Navy against the presence of intruders in all our approaches, in all our areas of interest (national territory, EEZ, continental shelf) and against any threats to our various intervention forces (battle group, amphibious group).

Navy Recognition: How many frigates will be upgraded and when? Which company will be incharge of the upgrade ?
French Navy: The Lafayette renovation program will be launched in 2018. The details of the program are not yet finalized.
     
During the Euronaval 2016 press tour held last week, an MBDA representative explained that French Navy (Marine Nationale) Lafayette-class frigates existing Crotale SAM system may be replaced with SADRAL launchers. "It is one of the options being considered for the upgrade" the representative said. According to an update to the French Military Planning Law (Loie de Programmation Militaire) released in May 2015, the Lafayette-class is set to receive an upgrade in the near future.
Crotale launcher aboard Lafayette frigate Aconit
     
The French Navy's La Fayette Class multipurpose stealth frigates were developed and built by DCNS. The French Navy awarded DCNS the contracts to construct the La Fayette (F710), Surcouff (F711) and Courbet (F712) frigates in 1988, and Aconit (F713) and Guepratte (F714) in 1992.

The La Fayette Class incorporates a number of stealth features – the sides of the vessel are sloped at 10° to minimize radar cross section, surfaces are made of alloy, reinforced plastic and kevlar. The profiles of external features have been reduced.

To learn more: Link to Lafayette class Frigate technical datasheet

During the press tour, MBDA announced that a SIMBAD RC short-range, anti-air self defence system will be showcased on their stand during Euronaval 2016. (An actual turret, not a model).