FREMM multipurpose frigate

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Nave Bergamini 3.JPG
Carlo Bergamini, the first Italian GP variant
Class overview

 Marina Militare
 Marine Nationale

 Royal Moroccan Navy
Preceded by: Georges Leygues-class (France)
Cassard-class (France)
Lupo-class (Italy)
Maestrale-class (Italy)
Cost: €670m/unit[1](FY 2014)(France)
€470m/unit[2] (Morocco)
Built: 2007-
In commission: 2012-
Active: 5 (France 1, Italy 3, Morocco 1)
General characteristics
Type: Frigate
Displacement: France: 6,000 tonnes[3]
Italy: 6,900 tonnes[4]
Length: France: 142 m (466 ft)
Italy: 144.6 m (474 ft)
Beam: France: 20 m (66 ft)
Italy: 19.7 m (65 ft)
Draught: France: 5 m (16 ft)
Italy: 8.7 m (29 ft)
Propulsion: France: CODLOG
1 × 32 MW gas turbine General Electric/Avio LM2500+G4
2 × 2.5 MW electric motors Jeaumont Electric
4 × diesel generators
France: MTU Series 4000 (2,2 mW everyone)
Italy: Isotta Fraschini VL 1716 (T2ME series by 2,15 mW everyone, on first two frigate; HPCR series by 2,8 mW everyone, since the third frigate)
2 × shafts, driving controllable pitch propellers
1 × 1 MW bow thruster
Speed: France: 27+ knots (50 km/h (31 mph))
Italy: 29+ knots (55 km/h (34 mph))
Range: France: 6,000 nm (11,000 km (6,800 mi)) at 15 knots
Italy: 6,700 nm (12,300 km (7,600 mi)) at 15 knots
Complement: France: 145
Italy: 199 GP version / 201 ASW version
Crew: Italy: 131 GP version / 133 ASW version; add 14 crew for one helo on board or add 23 crew for two helos on board
Sensors and
processing systems:
France: Héraklès multi-purpose passive electronically scanned array radar
Italy: Selex ES MFRA Active electronically scanned array radar
Armament: Anti-air missiles:

France: 16-cell SYLVER A43 VLS for 16 Aster 15 missiles
Italy: 16-cell SYLVER A50 VLS for 16 Aster 15 and 30 missiles

France: 1 × OTO Melara 76 mm SR gun
Italy: 2 × OTO Melara 76/62 mm Davide/Strales CIWS guns (ASW variant)
1 × Otobreda 127/64 Vulcano and 1 × OTO Melara 76/62 mm Davide/Strales CIWS gun (GP variant)

Small guns:
France: 3 × Nexter 20mm Narwhal remote weapon systems
Italy: 2 × Oto Melara/Oerlikon 25/80 mm remote weapon systems

Anti-ship missiles:
France: 8 × MM-40 Exocet block 3 anti-ship missiles
Italy: 8 × Teseo\Otomat Mk-2/A anti-ship and land attack missiles

Land-attack cruise missiles:
France: 16-cell SYLVER A70 VLS for 16 × SCALP Naval land-attack cruise missiles

Anti-submarine warfare:
France: 2 x double WASS B-515 launcher for MU 90 torpedoes

Italy: 2 x triple WASS B-515/3 launcher for MU 90 torpedoes (GP variant)
2 x triple WASS B-515/3 launcher for MU 90 torpedoes and 4 x Milas missiles (ASW variant)
Aircraft carried: France:1 × NH90
Italy: 2 × SH90 or 1 × SH90 and 1 × AW101
Aviation facilities: France: single hangar
Italy: double hangar

The FREMM (European multipurpose frigate) (French Frégate européenne multi-mission or Italian Fregata europea multi-missione) is a class of frigate designed by DCNS/Armaris and Fincantieri for the navies of France and Italy. The lead ship of the class, Aquitaine, was commissioned in November 2012 by the French Navy. In France the class is known as the Aquitaine class, while in Italy they are known as the Bergamini class. Italy is buying two versions, a general purpose frigate and an anti-submarine variant; the last two Italian FREMMs will have anti-aircraft warfare, anti-ballistic missile and surface attack capabilities; France hopes to buy an air-defence variant. To date the only export has been one anti-submarine warfare variant delivered to Morocco in 2014.


Three original variants of the FREMM were proposed; an anti-submarine variant (ASW) and a general-purpose variant (GP) and a land-attack variant (AVT) to replace the existing classes of frigates within the French and Italian navies. A total of 27 FREMM were to be constructed - 17 for France and 10 for Italy - with additional aims to seek exports, however budget cuts and changing requirements has seen this number drop significantly. The land-attack variant (AVT) was subsequently cancelled.

A third anti-air warfare variant of FREMM was proposed by DCNS in repose to French requirements for a new air-defence frigate, the new variant became known as FREDA ("FREgates de Défense Aériennes", "Air defence frigate"). This new French requirement was due to the third and fourth Horizon-class frigates being cancelled after the first two cost €1,350m each, but this decision left French Navy still in-need of replacements for its ageing Cassard-class air-defence frigates.[5]

As of 2009, the FREDA design features a more powerful version of the Thales Herakles passive electronically scanned array radar and 32 cells of SYLVER A50 in place of the 16 cells of A43 and 16 cells of A70. The SYLVER A50 would allow it to fire the 120 kilometres (75 mi)-range Aster 30 missile; the towed array sonar would not be fitted.[6]

At Euronaval 2012 DCNS showed a new concept called FREMM-ER for the FREDA requirement, again based on the FREMM, but specifically mentioning the ballistic missile defence mission as well as anti-air. FREMM-ER has a modified superstructure replacing Héraklès with the new Thales Sea Fire 500 radar, whose four fixed plates resemble those of the US Navy's AN/SPY-1.[7] However unlike the Héraklès and the SPY-1 (both using passive electronically scanned array technology), the Sea Fire 500 has active electronically scanned array antennas.[8]


Original plans were for 17 FREMM to replace the nine D'Estienne d'Orves-class avisos and nine anti-submarine frigates of the Tourville and Georges Leygues classes . In November 2005 France announced a contract of €3.5bn for development and the first eight hulls, with options for nine more costing €2.95bn split over two tranches (totaling 17).

Following the cancellation of the 3rd and 4th of the Horizon-class frigates in 2005 on budget grounds, requirements for an air-defence derivative of the FREMM called FREDA were placed - with DCNS coming up with several proposals.[9] Expectations were that the last 2 ships of the 17 FREMM planned would built to FREDA specifications, however by 2008 the plan was revised down to just 11 FREMM (9 ASW variants and 2 FREDA variants)[5] at a cost of €8.75bn (FY13, ~US$12bn).[1] The 11 ships would cost €670m (~US$760m) each in FY2014, or €860m (~US$980m) including development costs.[1]

The 2013 White Paper on Defence and National Security committed France to 15 front-line frigates,[10] which was initially wrongly interpreted as 2 Horizons, 5 La Fayettes and a reduction in the FREMM fleet down to 8 ships. The 2014/2019 defence plan restated a target of 11 FREMMs;[11] the current plan is to deliver 6 ASW variants to replace the Georges Leygues-class frigates by 2019, followed by two anti-air variants to replace the ageing Cassard-class frigates and a decision will be taken in 2016 on what version the remaining three will be.[1] In 2014, the French Navy's Chief of Staff, Adm. Bernard Rogel, confirmed that 11 FREMM frigates had been ordered.[12] The first La Fayette-class vessel was commissioned in 1996 so will be nearing the end of its life at 25 years old by the time the 9th FREMM is delivered.


Planning assumptions for the Italian Navy are 10 FREMM-IT (4 ASW variants and 6 GP variants) at a cost of 5.8 billion.
FREMM-IT will replace the Maestrale and Lupo-class frigates in service with the Italian Navy.
As of 2014, the Italian government has approved funding for the first eight FREMM-IT to be delivered to the Italian Navy (4 ASW variants and 4 GP variants). In the 2013 Italian budget, the Italian government laid-out the necessary financing for two more GP variants (FREMM-IT 7 & 8) and the contract was awarded in September 2013. On 18 June 2014, the Defence Parliamentary Commission authorized units 9 and 10, that have to be funded by 16 April 2015.

FREMM-IT 9 & 10 will have AAW & ATBM capabilities and will have A70 VLS for cruise missiles. All Italian FREMM-ITs have extended AAW capabilities, with SAAM-ESD CMS and Aster 30 (& Aster 15) missiles for extended area defence. SAAM-ESD CMS use Selex ES MFRA, a 3D active radar (AESA), an evolved version of the Selex ES EMPAR PESA radar (previously embarked on Horizon-class destroyers and the aircraft carrier Cavour).
The Selex ES MFRA 4FF (EMPAR's evolved version, destined for the 9th and 10th FREMM) will have four flat radar sensors, with three times the original range and full ATBM capabilities.
Since the 7th FREMM-IT, there will be updates to other systems, such as:

  • the COC and bridge will be integrated
  • the cruise speed will be enhanced to 19/20 knots (with more powerful diesel engines)


On 24 October 2007 it was announced that the Royal Moroccan Navy had ordered one FREMM to replace its Descubierta-class corvette.[13] The contract was signed on 18 April 2008 and construction of the Moroccan FREMM began in the summer 2008 with delivery expected in 2012 or 2013;[14] Mohammed VI was launched in September 2011 and handed over on 30 January 2014.[2] The Moroccan ship is similar to the French anti-submarine version, without SYLVER A70 tubes for SCALP Naval, and cost €470m.[2]

On 22 January 2009 the Hellenic Navy announced an order for six FREMM to replace an equal number of Elli-class frigates.[15] After the Greek government-debt crisis this was cut down to between two and four ships equipped with SCALP Naval, with France alleged to have offered them to Greece at no cost for the first five years. Germany called foul on this deal in October 2011[16] and no deal has been signed. In February 2013 though and during the formal visit of the President of France, François Hollande, in Athens, according to press reports an agreement which includes the long-term leasing of two FREMM frigates (Normandie and Provence according to initial reports) to the Hellenic Navy has been reached.[17]

In April 2013, the French government showcased the FREMM class in Halifax with the hope of selling to the Royal Canadian Navy.[18]

The Egyptian Navy will purchase 2 FREMM vessels to enter service before the opening of the expanded Suez canal.[19] In order to keep to Egypt's deadlines, France has offered to send Normandie as the first vessel and build a second, or send another of the existing ships already in production.[20]

Country-specific equipment[edit]

Common equipment[edit]

  • OTO Melara 76 mm Super Rapid gun (on Italian Navy versions with Davide/Strales guided-ammunition)
  • 2 x torpedo launchers Eurotorp/WASS B515/3 for MU 90 torpedoes with Calzoni AHS (Automatic Handling System)
  • 2 x SLAT (Systeme de Lutte Anti-Torpille) anti-torpedo system (into Italian Navy only for ASW version) ASW DLS (Anti Submarine Weapon Decoy Launcher System) based on Thales ALERT sonar system, DCNS RATO command system and WASS CMAT weapon system (with 12 tube launcher for 127 mm's WASS C-310 decoy and jammers)
  • NH90 helicopter, with capability for AW101, Cougar and Caracal
  • Thales UMS 4110 CL hull sonar
  • Thales UMS 4249 CAPTAS4 towed sonar (anti-submarine versions only)
  • Thales TUUM-6 Underwater Telephone
  • 2 x Sigen MM/SMQ-765 EW system: with JASS (Jamming Antenna Sub System) ECM, Nettuno 4100, by ELT Elettronica and Thales ESM (Communications and Radar ESM)
  • 2 x SOFRESUD Quick Pointing Devices "QPD"

French-specific equipment[edit]

  • 16 cells of SYLVER A43 VLS for Aster 15
  • 16 cells of Sylver A70 VLS for SCALP Naval cruise missile with a range up to 1000 km
  • MM-40 Exocet block 3, for naval and land attack
  • Three Nexter 20mm Narwhal remote weapon systems
  • NGDS decoy launcher
  • Héraklès radar
  • Terma Scanter 2001 radar[21]
  • Thales Artemis IRST
  • SETIS combat system
  • Sagem Najir fire control system for the 76mm gun
  • Samahé helicopter handling system

Italian-specific equipment[edit]

  • 16 cells of SYLVER A50 VLS for Aster 15 and Aster 30 missiles
  • Space reserved for SYLVER A70 launchers for 16 SCALP Naval or similar cruise missile, but not fitted
  • Selex ES IRST SASS
  • 2 x Selex ES NA-25 DARDO-F fire control system for the 76mm cannon
  • Selex ES EMPAR active radar (MFRA).
  • Selex ES RASS (RAN-30X-I) surface radar (OTH)
  • LPI navigation radar Selex ES SPN-730 and two navigation radar GEM-Elettronica MM/SPN-753
  • Selex ES IFF SIR M5-PA
  • Selex ES Athena combat system (CMS), with 21, three displays, MFC (Multi Functional Consolle): 17 into COC, 2 in backup COC, 1 on bridge and 1 into Command Planning Room
  • Selex ES SAAM-ESD extended area AAW combat system (for Aster 15 & Aster 30 missiles)
  • 2 x OTO Melara SCLAR-H DLS Multipurpose Rocket Launcher
  • 8 x Teseo\Otomat Mk-2/A block 4, for naval and land attack
  • 2 x Oto Melara/Oerlikon 25/80 mm, remote weapon system, controlled by close CMS
  • Curtiss-Wright TC-ASIST helicopter handling system (for both helicopters)
  • WASS SNA-2000-I, Mine Avoidance Sonar
  • L-3 ELAC Nautik SeaBeam 3050, Multi-beam echo sounder (only on ASW version)
  • 1 x 7 m rigid-hulled inflatable boat release and recovery lateral systems (Stemar 6,8 m, FNM HPEP 225 HP engine, 38 knots, 6 crew [22])
  • 1 x 11 m rigid-hulled inflatable boat release and recovery lateral systems
  • 11 m rigid-hulled inflatable boat fast release and recovery system[23] (only on GP version)
  • ASW version: 2 x OTO Melara 76/62 mm Davide/Strales CIWS guns, one on the hangar (both with Strales guided-ammunitions) and 4 MILAS ASW missile
  • GP version: 1 x Otobreda 127/64 LW with Vulcano guided ammunition with a range up to 120 km, and AAHS (Automated Ammunition Handling System) with 350 rounds + 56 in turret and a second OTO Melara 76/62 mm Davide/Strales CIWS gun on the hangar (with Strales guided-ammunitions)

Ships of the class[edit]

Aquitaine class[edit]

Aquitaine, lead ship of the class in French service
Mohammed VI of the Royal Moroccan Navy.
 French Navy
Pennant no. Type Name Laid down Launched Commissioned Homeport
D650 ASW Aquitaine 2007 29 April 2010 23 November 2012[24] Brest
D651 ASW Normandie 2009 18 October 2012[25] Expected mid 2014 Brest
D652 ASW Provence 2010 18 September 2013 2015 Toulon
D653 ASW Languedoc 2011 12 July 2014 Toulon
D654 ASW Auvergne 2012 Toulon
D655 ASW Alsace Toulon
D656 AAW Bretagne Brest
D657 AAW Lorraine Brest
 Royal Moroccan Navy
Pennant no. Type Name Laid down Launched Commissioned Homeport
701 ASW Mohammed VI 2008 14 September 2011 30 January 2014[2] Ksar es Seghir
 Egyptian Navy
Pennant no. Type Name Laid down Launched Commissioned Homeport
ASW (ex-Normandie) 2009 18 October 2012 TBC


 Marina Militare[26]
Carlo Bergamini, lead ship of the class in Italian service
Pennant no. Type Name Laid down Launched[27] Commissioned Homeport
F590 GP Carlo Bergamini 4 February 2008 16 July 2011 29 May 2013 La Spezia
F591 ASW Virginio Fasan 12 May 2009 31 March 2012 19 December 2013[28] La Spezia
F592 ASW Carlo Margottini 21 April 2010 29 June 2013 27 February 2014 La Spezia
F593 ASW Carabiniere 6 April 2011 29 March 2014 April 2015 La Spezia
F594 ASW Alpino 23 February 2012 13 December 2014 February 2016
F595 GP Luigi Rizzo 5 March 2013 February 2016 February 2017
F596 GP 5 June 2014 [29] Spring 2018
F597 GP 25 February 2015 [30] 2019
F598 AAW 2016 2020
F599 AAW 2017 2021

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Projet de loi de finances pour 2015 : Défense : équipement des forces" (in French). Senate of France. 20 November 2014. Retrieved 2015-02-22. 
  2. ^ a b c d Djama, Nasser (30 January 2014). "A Brest, le Maroc prend possession de sa frégate Fremm Mohammed VI". L'Usine Nouvelle (in French). Retrieved 24 October 2014. 
  3. ^ "Caractéristiques". FREMM Aquitaine (D 650) (in French). Minstère de la Défense. 12 August 2013. Retrieved 24 October 2014. 
  4. ^ "Fregate Europee Multi Missione - FREMM" (in Italian). Ministero Della Difesa. Retrieved 24 October 2014. 
  5. ^ a b "FREMM : 11 frégates multi-missions pour la flotte française". Mer et Marine (in French). 26 October 2008. 
  6. ^ "Frégates : Le point sur les futures FREDA". Mer et Marine (in French). 12 October 2009. 
  7. ^ "DCNS to unveil new FREMM Frigate variant, updated BRAVE supply ship design at Euronaval 2012". Belgium: Navy Recognition. 4 October 2012. 
  8. ^ Nodwell, Bethan (2013). "Extending Navy Capabilities FREMM-ER". FrontLine Defence (4). Retrieved 24 October 2014. 
  9. ^ "FREMM : Supprimer des frégates, un non sens économique et stratégique?". Mer et Marine (in French). 19 September 2007. 
  10. ^ "White Paper on Defense and National Security 2013". Minstère de la Défense. 29 April 2013. p. 91. Retrieved 24 October 2014. 
  11. ^ "Projet De Loi De programmation Militarie 2014/2019" (in French). Minstère de la Défense. August 2013. Retrieved 24 October 2014. 
  12. ^
  13. ^ Accord conclu pour la vente d'une frégate française au Maroc | Mer et Marine[dead link]
  14. ^ La construction de la FREMM marocaine débute à Lorient | Mer et Marine[dead link]
  15. ^ "ΑΠΟΚΛΕΙΣΤΙΚΟ: O Ε. Μεϊμαράκης ανακοίνωσε πρόγραμμα εξοπλισμών" (in Greek). 23 January 2009. Retrieved 24 October 2014. 
  16. ^ "Germans Question Contract : France to Sell Frigates to Greece in Controversial Deal". Der Spiegel. 17 October 2011. Retrieved 24 October 2014. 
  17. ^ "La Grèce va louer 2 frégates françaises" (in French). Le Figaro. 19 February 2013. Retrieved 24 October 2014. 
  18. ^ "French pitch new warships for next Canadian navy vessels". CBC News. 20 April 2013. Retrieved 24 October 2014. 
  19. ^ "Official French Navy Statement on the Sale of a FREMM Multi-Mission Frigate to Egypt". 13 February 2015. 
  20. ^ "FREMM pour l’Egypte : Ça se précise…". 17 December 2014. Retrieved 18 January 2015. 
  21. ^ [1][dead link]
  22. ^
  23. ^ R.I.D. Rivista italiana difesa, gennaio 2013
  24. ^ "La Marine réceptionne la FREMM Aquitaine" (in French). Minstère de la Défense. 27 November 2012. Retrieved 24 October 2014. 
  25. ^ "DCNS Launches Second French Fremm Frigate". DefenceTalk. 22 October 2012. Retrieved 24 October 2014. 
  26. ^ Gaiani, Gianandrea (26 November 2012). "Modifiche E Qualche Ritocco Per Le Fremm" (in Italian). Analisi Difesa. Retrieved 24 October 2014. 
  27. ^ "Le fregate FREMM, le navi del futuro". Marina Militare (in Italian). Ministero Della Difesa. 9 February 2011. Retrieved 24 October 2014. 
  28. ^ "Second Italian FREMM frigate 'Virginio Fasan' Delivered". Orizzonte Sistemi Navali. 19 December 2013. Retrieved 24 October 2014. 
  29. ^ "Fincantieri, Riva Trigoso: iniziati i lavori per la settima Fremm" (in Italian). The Medi Telegraph. 5 June 2014. Retrieved 24 October 2014. 
  30. ^

External links[edit]