Defence Industry

FREMM: A Multi-Mission Frigate by DCNS
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Issue Vol. 29.4 Oct-Dec 2014 | Date : 11 Dec , 2014

FREMM Aquitaine in New York city

The FREMM has already entered the world market. Morocco has also ordered one Aquitaine class FREMM Frigate. The vessel, to be named Mohammed VI, is set to become the flagship of the Royal Moroccan Navy. France plans to operate eleven FREMM Frigates which will be the backbone of the French Navy (Marine Nationale). Designed for AAW, ASW and ASUW missions, these true multi-role vessels capable of carrying out deep strikes against land targets are definitely the futuristic solution to the challenges faced by the modern navies.

Because countries must face increasingly complex challenges, versatility is a key capability when it comes to crisis…

As part of a media group, the Indian Defence Review recently visited the facilities of DCNS, MBDA, THALES and SAGEM in France from September 29 to October 03, 2014. A complete array of top-of-the-line technologies at various locations were best integrated in the French Multi-Mission (FREMM) Frigate displayed at the Lorient shipyard. DCNS had just completed the first sea outing of the Provence Class of FREMM, the third vessel ordered for the French Navy on behalf of the Direction Generale De L’armement (DGA) at the Lorient site. Latest in its inventory and the IDR team got a chance to have an insider’s view of the frigate. DCNS, a French industrial group specialising in naval defence and energy created this floating marvel of an FREMM Frigate on the lines of its vision 2020+.

DCNS Vision 2020+

“Free men, you will always cherish the sea!” This sentence by Charles Baudelaire has never been more relevant. For we are convinced that the 21st century will be the century of the sea – because the oceans contain the solutions to the human, economic and environmental issues now facing this ‘Blue Planet’. DCNS exists to create high technology solutions for naval defence, energy (civil nuclear and renewable marine energies) as well as surveying and sustainably developing the oceans’ potential. Each and every day, the men and women of DCNS share their passion for the sea. Towards realisation of its dreams, DCNS specializes in the domain of Fleet Support, Homeland Security, Blue Water Decisive Capability and Crisis Management.

Fleet Support

These services stretch from the simplest order of spare parts to the through-life support of a complete fleet. On top of current support operations, DCNS can carry out modernisation and life extension programmes to maintain fleet availability at optimal cost. DCNS proposes a complete set of courses and solutions designed to train all levels of naval and industrial personnel from the start of a project through till decommissioning. DCNS also offers services at naval bases and shipyards from Design, Engineering, Construction, Operation and Maintenance of infrastructure. This global offer ranges from turnkey solutions to technology transfer programmes to meet any requirement of navies across the world.

Command Information Centre

Homeland Security

DCNS’ global solutions for homeland security provide 24-hour long-range detection systems that control intruders entering national coastal waters and airspace. The innovative solutions designed by DCNS in compliance with recognised NATO standards provide efficient processing, synthesis and display of data received from surface ships, submarines, aircraft and helicopters – as well as from other surveillance systems such as satellites, AIS, Maritime Surveillance and Air Traffic Control Systems or from allied units. These play a key role in maritime surveillance and homeland security.

Naval forces are able to prevent potential crises and provide quick and efficient assistance with appropriate resources…

Coastal Preparedness

Naval forces are able to prevent potential crises and provide quick and efficient assistance with appropriate resources. A nation’s coastlines must be monitored at all times by a multi-mission fleet. Equipped with integrated communications systems, DCNS vessels are in constant liaison with the Command Centre.

Actions to Counter Illegal Activities

Advanced detection systems are necessary to combat all types of trafficking. Models of discretion, the Andrasta and Scorpene use sensors, infra-red cameras and listening equipment to identify any suspect activities.

National Defence Capability to Protect Critical Infrastructure

To protect offshore infrastructures and interest, DCNS designs and builds warships that boast a wealth of innovations, capable of detecting intruders from land, sea and air. Boasting of devastating military capability, they can clear mines from coastal regions. Not only does DCNS design naval ships adapted to the coastal environment, as a prime contractor it also offers global, integrated and inter-operable security solutions and long-term partnerships.

Blue Water Decisive Capability

DCNS’ Blue Water solutions respond to today’s naval defence needs for international action and inter-operability using fully integrated communications and combat systems.


To defend their vital interests, countries need state-of-the-art naval forces including submarines and surface ships equipped with fully integrated communication and combat systems, and surface combatants with multi-mission capability to face multiple threats. Warships are valuable assets that call for effective protection. This is why DCNS provides integrated combat systems capable of providing the appropriate response when and where necessary.

Full ASW suite to protect territorial waters to deter submarines from breaching a country’s territorial waters, DCNS equips its new surface ships with a comprehensive and successful ASW combat system.

Long-range surgical attack to master joint operations from a sea-borne command and control centre. DCNS possesses full mastery of all the expertise enabling the success of complex sea-to-land actions.

DCNS offers integrated combat systems with extensive command and control capabilities…

To allow submarines, surface ships and air forces to work together, DCNS Blue Water solutions have an open architecture capable of adapting to any platform. Equipped with integrated combat systems, Frigates (FREMM, FM400), Corvettes (Gowind) and conventional submarines (Scorpene) can play a decisive role within inter-allied and inter-army forces.

Crisis Management

Because countries must face increasingly complex challenges, versatility is a key capability when it comes to crisis. Crisis management missions range from constabulary or military tasks to peacekeeping and humanitarian actions.

Coordinated Naval Response

In order to address multiple threats, DCNS offers integrated combat systems with extensive command and control capabilities. DCNS also integrates UxVs and advanced deep strike weapons.

Endurance and Availabilities

FREMM Frigates, FM 400 Frigates, Gowind sovereignty enforcing vessels and Scorpene submarines are designed to maximise availability at sea and benefit from a proven reduced life-cycle cost thanks to optimised crews and integrated logistics support.

Versatility and Efficiency

As an example, with their extensive capabilities as hospital ships, Mistral family of LHDs is perfect for humanitarian missions. Capable of carrying both military personnel and civilians, they can be reconfigured for every type of mission.

Designing, building and providing support for a full range of versatile warships for crisis management is among DCNS’ core missions.

DCNS surface ships and submarines are designed to be used and operated under close political control, in unison with allied Navies inside national or international joint forces in a wide range of missions. For example, FREMM is a truly multi-missions frigate; the Mistral family LHDs are designed to accommodate and support a large range of landing craft, helicopters and UAVs, they are NATO certified for joint embarked HQ; Scorpene submarines are designed to be operated in ‘blue’ or ‘brown’ waters.

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The views expressed are of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or policies of the Indian Defence Review.

About the Author

Danvir Singh

Associate Editor, Indian Defence Review, former Commanding Officer, 9 Sikh LI and author of  book "Kashmir's Death Trap: Tales of Perfidy and Valour".

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