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The French Navy is undertaking a significant reinforcement, both in modernising and in number, begun under the Projet de loi de programmation militaire 2003–2008 ("Military programme law project 2003–2008"),[1] which notably includes an ongoing force of 15 large frigate/destroyer sized ships of the Horizon-class, Aquitaine-class and La Fayette-class.

  • 8 FREMM multipurpose frigates – Eight ships have been ordered as part of the 2003–08 defence programming law and a further three were planned to be ordered. Two ships will be optimised for anti-aircraft warfare to replace the two cancelled Horizon-class ships. Construction of the first ship in this class began in 2007 and she was commissioned in 2012.[2] In 2015 the order was cut to 8 in order to allow the purchase of five FTI Mid-Size Frigates from 2023.[3]
  • 5 FTI Mid-Size Frigates from 2023.[3] The FTI will replace the La Fayette-class, which will be fitted with a sonar as an interim measure.[3]
  • Six nuclear attack submarines of the Barracuda-class. The contract for the first three of these submarines was signed in 2006. The construction of the first boat in the class also began in 2006 and she is scheduled to be commissioned in 2020. The additional boats in the class will be built at the rate of one every 24 months, with the sixth submarine entering service in 2027.[4]
  • The Durance class will be replaced under the FLOTLOG project by four derivatives of Italy's Vulcano Logistic Support Ship, to be delivered in 2022-29.[5]
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Equipment will also be modernised, notably:

In October 2018, the French Ministry of Defence launched an 18-month study for €40 million for the eventual future replacement of the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle beyond 2030. A decision for the new carrier is scheduled to take place beyond 2025, and the future carrier is to remain in service until beyond 2080.[6][7]


  1. ^ (in French) Projet de loi programmation militaire pour les années 2003 à 2008. Retrieved on March 23, 2008.
  2. ^ Saunders (2007), pg 245.
  3. ^ a b c d "Update to French Military Planning Law Means New Capabilities for Lafayette Class Frigates". Navy Recognition. 2015-05-21.
  4. ^ Saunders (2007), pg 232.
  5. ^ Cabirol, Michel (15 June 2018). "Pétrolier ravitailleur : la France monte à bord du programme italien Vulcano". Le Tribune.
  6. ^ "France starts study phase for new aircraft carrier". Naval Today. 24 October 2018. Archived from the original on 24 October 2018. Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  7. ^ Briganti, de, Giovanni (24 October 2018). "France Launches Studies for New Aircraft Carrier". Defense Aerospace. Paris. Archived from the original on 30 October 2018. Retrieved 30 October 2018.