France is to get three more FREMM frigates to be built by the DCNS military shipyard. This brings the total number of FREMMs to 11 to be delivered between November 2012 -- for the first ship, the Aquitaine -- and 2022 at the rate of one every 10 months... and the bill to €7 billion. Defense Minister Hervé Morin made the announcement during a visit to the Lorient yard in Britanny, north-west France, last Thursday for the ceremonial first steel cut of the second FREMM, the Normandie.
Two of the three ships will be anti-air versions and will be known as FREDA rather than FREMM and the third will be an anti-submarine vessel, like the first eight.
For DCNS this is a slight compensation for the fact that the original target of 18 ships had been cut down to eight. Together with the FREMM being built for Morocco the 11 ships will ensure 50 million hours of work for the company and its sub-contractors not only at the Lorient site which oversees the whole program but also in Brest which builds the front and in Toulon on the Mediterranean responsible for the combat systems, Nantes Indret on the Atlantic coast for the propulsion system, Ruelle Angoulême in the west for the naval systems and Saint-Tropez in the south for the MU90 torpedoes.
Although the FREMM is a Franco-Italian project, each nation's shipyards build its ships. The Italian ones are built by Orizzonte Sistemi Navali. There is no cooperation on the export front either: each shipyard markets its own. The only export contract so far is with Morocco which signed with DCNS. Various press reports recently announced that Algeria had signed a contract with Orizzonte but so far these reports have turned out to be unfounded.