French Navy Aquitaine Class (FREMM) Frigate Gets Initial Anti-Submarine Warfare Capability

The French Navy announced that Aquitaine, the first of its new generation FREMM (European multi-mission frigate) frigate, recently received its initial operational capability (IOC) in the field of anti-submarine warfare (ASW). The new French frigate is on its way to its official commissioning.

Achieving the IOC is the result of optimisation work carried out in recent months by the Aquitaine’s crew and by representatives of the French procurement agency (DGA) and the manufacturer involved (DCNS). The combined work have allowed a constant improvement of shipboard sensors and systems. 

This initial qualification allows the French frigate to perform operational alert missions on France’s Atlantic coast, and more specifically in support of the SSBNs (nuclear missile submarines) operated by the Strategic Oceanic Force (FOST).
In its ASW configuration (which is the case for first ship of the class Aquitaine), the FREMM will be one of the most potent sub-hunting platform in Europe. Indeed the vessel is fitted with the state-of-the art CAPTAS 4 variable depth sonar as well as a bow sonar, both made by Thales. The class may deploy up to 19 MU90 torpedoes. FREMM frigates will also deploy the new NH90 NFH helicopter for ASW missions. The French Navy has just started trials of MU90 integration onboard NH90 helicopter. French Navy NH90 will also be fitted with a sonar: the FLASH dipping sonar by Thales. [via]

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