Frégate de défense et d'intervention

The Frégate de Défense et d'Intervention (English: Defence and Intervention Frigate) or FDI,[6] also known as the Frégate de Taille Intermédiaire (English: Medium-Size Frigate) or FTI, is a planned class of French frigates. As of February 2022, five ships have been ordered for the French Navy, with the lead ship being named "Amiral Ronarc'h", and an additional three for the Hellenic Navy.

D664 Amiral Cabanier underway in rough weather.jpg
Computer-generated image of Amiral Cabanier (D664), the fifth French Frégate de défense et d'intervention
Class overview
NameFrégate de défense et d'intervention (FDI)
BuildersNaval Group
OperatorsFuture operators
 French Navy
 Hellenic Navy
Preceded byLa Fayette class
Cost
  • 2.1 billion (2017) for five units (R&D=€1.4bn, Total program cost for France=€3.5bn)
  • 420 million (2017) per unit
Built2019+
In commission2024+
Planned5 for the French Navy, 3+1 for the Hellenic Navy. (8+1 Total)
Building3
General characteristics
TypeGeneral purpose frigate
Displacement4.460 t (4.390 long tons)
Length122 m (400 ft 3 in)
Beam17.7 m (58 ft 1 in)
Propulsion
SpeedMaximum: 27 knots (50 km/h; 31 mph)
Range5,000 nmi (9,300 km; 5,800 mi) at 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph)
Endurance45 days[2]
Complement110, excluding air crew detachment of approx. 15
Sensors and
processing systems
Armament
Aircraft carried1 NH90[1] or Guépard Marine (H160M) helicopter[1] equipped with torpedoes, air-to-surface missiles, and/or heavy machine gun; and SDAM UAV;[2][3] 1 MH-60R in Greek Service.

First steel was cut in October 2019, beginning construction on the lead unit.[7] The lead ship was laid down on 17 December 2021.[8][9] Commissioning is planned from 2024 onwards.

HistoryEdit

The Intermediate Frigate (FTI) program responds to the need for a fleet of fifteen first-class frigates and allows the French Navy to operate in a crisis zone, as recommended in the White Paper on Defense and National Security of 2013. These frigates join the ten examples of the FREMM multipurpose frigate (Aquitaine) class and Horizon class.

Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian announced the launch of the program on 29 May 2015 at the naval aviation base in Lann-Bihoué (Ploemeur, Morbihan). A total of five ships are planned for production, with delivery of the first taking the place within the time period originally planned for the last three planned Aquitaine-class frigates. In 2021 it was reported that work on the second and third frigates in the series would be accelerated[2] with first steel cut for modules of the second ship of the class envisaged for October.[10] The subsequent deal between France and Greece in 2021 to supply three FDI-class frigates to the Hellenic Navy meant that these two vessels would now be built for the Hellenic Navy. This pushed the delivery date for the next ships in the French Navy to 2026 and 2027.[11]

The FTIs, of a contained size, would better correspond to the demands of the export markets according to the Direction générale de l'armement and also make it possible to maintain the development and production capacities of the French shipyards.

These ships will incrementally supersede the La Fayette-class frigates ship for ship, in the role of first rank frigates. In the interim, a modernization of three vessels in the La Fayette class is being undertaken to extend their useful lives into the early 2030s.

According to Admiral Bernard Rogel and the Direction générale de l'Armement, the FDI are being endowed with significant anti-aircraft capabilities with active antenna radar and fixed planes, anti-submarine means (helicopter and towed sonar), and would have a displacement of 4,000 to 4,500 tonnes (3,900 to 4,400 long tons).

The French Defence Ministry announced the attribution to DCNS of a contract for the development and construction of five intermediate-size frigates (FTIs) intended for the French Navy on 21 April 2017.[12] The new frigate, to be named Amiral Ronarc'h, will be equipped with electronic systems and sensors developed by Thales[13] and will be equipped with Aster 30 missiles from MBDA Aster 15/30;[12]

  • The SEA FIRE all-digital multi-function radar with four fixed antennas, which will meet the requirements of a broad range of missions, from ship self-defence to extended air defence, and can deploy MBDA Aster 15/30; first SEA FIRE radar delivered for integration in first FDI unit in April 2021.[14]
  • The compact version of the CAPTAS-4 towed-array sonar, delivers the same ultra-long-range detection performance as the original version of CAPTAS-4 with 20% lower weight and a footprint almost 50% smaller, claimed to be the best in its class by Thales.
  • The Aquilon integrated digital communications system, and an IFF (Identification Friend of Foe) associated with the SEA FIRE radar
  • The SENTINEL system, an advanced digital electronic warfare system built around a modular architecture.

ExportsEdit

Greece signed an agreement with France's Naval Group to purchase three FDI frigates with an option for one more for the Hellenic Navy as part of a $5 billion defence package.[15][16]

It was reported that the Hellenic Navy ships would eventually carry a more extensive weapons fit with launch tubes capable of carrying up to 32 Aster-30 air defence missiles (in 4 Sylver A-50 or 3 A-50 and 1 A-70 for 8 MdCN missile. This will permit the Hellenic Navy eventually to operate three ships with 32 aerial defence missiles plus 21 point defence missiles being also equipped with one Mk31 21-cell launcher of RAM Block 2B[1] surface-to-air missiles, 8 Block 3 Exocet anti-ship missiles, 2 dual launchers MU90 torpedoes and CANTO torpedo countermeasures. Two of the vessels, destined for the French Navy in 2025, now will be delivered to the Hellenic Navy. The date of the construction agreement was anticipated to be at late 2021 or early 2022.[11] In December 2021 it was reported that an agreement for construction had been signed by France and Greece[17] with the actual contract for the construction of the ships having been signed on 24 March 2022.[18][19] In February 2022, documents released by the Greek Parliament indicated that initially the first two frigates for the Hellenic Navy would be equipped similar to their French counterparts in a "Standard-1" configuration (with 16 Sylver A50 cells). By 2027 the two ships would be upgraded to a "Standard-2" configuration with 32 A-50 cells as well as with the RAM Block 2B. The third Hellenic Navy frigate would be built from the outset in the "Standard-2" configuration.[20]

ShipsEdit

Italics indicates estimated date

Number Ship Builder Laid down Launched Commissioned Status
  French Navy
D660[21] Amiral Ronarc'h DCNS Lorient 17 December 2021[22] Fall 2022[1] Spring 2024[1][2] Steel cut on ship modules October 2019[7]
D661[21] Amiral Louzeau early 2026[11] Ordered[2]
D662[21] Amiral Castex 2027[11] Ordered[2]
D663[21] Amiral Nomy 2028
D664[21] Amiral Cabanier 2029
  Hellenic Navy
TBD DCNS Lorient early 2025[11] Steel cut on ship modules October 2021[23]
TBD late 2025[11] Steel cut on ship modules July 2022[24]
TBD late 2026[11] Ordered
? TBD Option

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f Groizeleau, Vincent (17 December 2021). "En présence des Grecs, la France met sur cale sa première FDI". Mer et Marine (in French). Retrieved 17 February 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "France accelerates the FDI frigates program". navyrecognition.com. Retrieved 28 April 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. ^ Vavasseur, Xavier (9 June 2020). "France Speeds Up UAV Procurement For French Navy As Part Of Industry Recovery Plan". navalnews.com. Retrieved 28 April 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. ^ "FTI Medium-Size Frigates". naval-technology.com. Retrieved 2 November 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ Vavasseur, Xavier (28 September 2021). "Latest Details On The Deal Between France And Greece For 3 FDI Frigates". Naval News. Retrieved 2 November 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. ^ "Les frégates de défense et intervention (FDI)". https:defense.gouv.fr (in French). 6 April 2019. Retrieved 12 July 2021.
  7. ^ a b Mackenzie, Christina (25 October 2019). "Naval Group starts construction on France's newest frigate". Defense News. Retrieved 28 April 2021.
  8. ^ "French Naval Group holds keel-laying ceremony for first FDI frigate".
  9. ^ Vavasseur, Xavier (13 November 2020). "Photos: Naval Group Launches 'Lorraine', Its Final FREMM Frigate". navalnews.com. Retrieved 28 April 2021.
  10. ^ Groizeleau, Vincent (23 September 2021). "Naval Group lance la construction de la seconde frégate du type FDI". Mer et Marine (in French). Retrieved 23 September 2021.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g Vavasseur, Xavier (28 September 2021). "Latest Details On The Deal Between France And Greece For 3 FDI Frigates". Naval News. Retrieved 29 September 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  12. ^ a b "The intermediate-size frigate programme: DCNS is pleased to have been informed by the French Defence Ministry of a contract attribution". Naval Group. 21 April 2017. Archived from the original on 5 May 2019. Retrieved 21 January 2020.
  13. ^ "Thales high-tech systems on board French Navy's future medium-size frigates". Thales Group. 18 October 2016. Retrieved 21 January 2020.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  14. ^ "Thales delivers Sea Fire Radar for French Navy FDI". navyrecognition.com. 19 May 2021. Retrieved 19 May 2021.
  15. ^ Psaropoulos, John. "Greece, France tout European defence autonomy with warships deal". Aljazeera. Retrieved 29 September 2021.
  16. ^ "Greece buys French warships in multibillion-euro defense deal". Global Defense Corp. 29 September 2021. Retrieved 29 September 2021.
  17. ^ "France confirms the acquisition of three FDI HN or Belharra-class frigates by Greece". navyrecognition.com. 12 December 2021. Retrieved 17 February 2022.
  18. ^ "Greece And Naval Group Ink Contract For 3 FDI HN Frigates". Naval News. 24 March 2022. Retrieved 26 March 2022.
  19. ^ Vavasseur, Xavier (17 January 2022). "Greek MoD: Ultra-Modern FDI Frigate to protect Greece, Gowind Corvette Very Strong Candidate". navalnews.com.
  20. ^ Osberk, Tayfun (13 February 2022). "Greek Parliament Releases The Details Of FDI Frigate Deal". Navalnews.com. Retrieved 17 February 2022.
  21. ^ a b c d e "Amiral Ronarc'h class Frigate". seaforces.org. Retrieved 17 February 2022.
  22. ^ "French Naval Group holds keel-laying ceremony for first FDI frigate". navyrecognition.com. 17 December 2021. Retrieved 17 February 2022.
  23. ^ "Naval Group launches construction of second FDI frigate". navyrecognition.com. 24 September 2021. Retrieved 13 October 2021.
  24. ^ "FDI HN: Naval Group Cuts Steel for Second Frigate". 13 July 2022.