The first of class FREMM Aquitaine has just completed three weeks of sea-trials and according to DCNS, which built the frigate, the French navy is very pleased, notably with its maneuverability and propulsion.
The main objectives of these trials were to test the hybrid CODLOG (Combined Diesel eLectric or Gas) propulsion system and navigation systems.
“These sea trials ... went very well. The objectives of this first sea outing were fully met with more than 100 trials undertaken,” says Vincent Martinot-Lagarde, director of the FREMM program. The frigate reached its top speed of 27 knots and was able to turn and stop to the client's specifications.
DCNS says the successful completion of these first sea-trails also validates the working method chosen for the FREMM program which relies heavily on a navigation simulator. This “really went a long way towards the success of these sea-trials,” says DCNS. In addition, the simulator enabled the crew to become familiar with the ship before the trials even began.
DCNS will be building 12 of these ships, 11 for the French navy and one for the Royal Moroccan Navy. The FREMM frigate is 142 meters long, 20 meters wide, displaces 6,000 tonnes, has a maximum speed of 27 knots, has a crew of 108 (including the helicopter crew), can house 145 people and has a range of 6,000 nautical miles (11,112kms) at 15 knots (28 km/h).