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Aquitaine class

Guided missile frigate

Aquitaine class

It is planned that the Aquitaine class frigates will form a backbone of the French Navy

 
 
Country of origin France
Entered service 2012
Crew 145 men
Sea endurance ?
Dimensions and displacement
Length 142.2 m
Beam 20 m
Draught 5 m
Displacement, standard ?
Displacement, full load 6 000 tons
Propulsion and speed
Speed 28 knots
Range 11 100 km at 15 knots
Propulsion CODLOG propulsion with two electric motors (5MW combined and a single gas turbine (42 900 shp)
Airwing
Helicopters 1 x NH90 NFH
Armament
Artillery 1 x 76-mm dual-purpose gun, 3 x 20-mm cannons
Missiles 16 x Aster 15 SAM missiles, 16 x SCALP Naval land attack cruise missiles, 8 x MM.40 Exocet anti-ship missiles
Torpedoes 2 x twin 324-mm tubes for MU90 lightweight torpedoes

 

   The French Aquitaine class frigates were developed as a part of Franco-Italian FREMM multi-mission frigate program. The same program led to development of the Italian Carlo Bergamini class.

   So far France has ordered 8 of these warships. The lead ship was commissioned in 2012. The last one is planned to be commissioned in 2022. Once in service, the Aquitaine class frigates will form a backbone of the French Navy. Two more ships were built for export customers. One of them is in service with Morocco, while another one in in service with Egypt.

   The French Aqutaine class warships were developed as multi-mission frigates, but are clearly destroyers. They are being called so for political reasons. The Aquitaine class vessels are capable of carrying out various missions, such as anti-air warfare, anti-submarine warfare and even attack land of targets located more than 1 000 km away. So far France has ordered 6 of these warships optimized for anti-submarine warfare role and 2 optimized for air defense role. Both export ships are also optimized for anti-submarine warfare.

   These warships have a number of design features to reduce their radar cross section and noise levels. These French ships a stealthier than many other frigates.

   The Aquitaine class frigates are hi-tech ships with extreme automation levels. These warships have a crew of just 145 men. It is not much for a destroyer-size vessel. Some sources report that these ships can accommodate up to 180 men.

   The primary radar is the Thales Herakles multi-purpose passive Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar. It can track surface and air targets at a range of up to 250 km. It also provides fire control for the Aster surface-to-air missiles.

   These French ships are fitted with a 16-cell Vertical Launch System (VLS), loaded with Aster 15 medium-range air defense missiles. These missiles have a range of around 30 km. A total of 16 missiles are carried.

   Land attack capability is provided by another 16-cell VLS, loaded with SCALP Naval land attack cruise missiles. These have a range of more than 1 000 km. A total of 16 of these missiles are carried and are ready to use. Only few other frigates in the world pack such a formidable punch.

   Anti-ship capability is provided by two quad launchers with MM.40 Exocet Block 3 anti-ship missiles. These can engage hostile ships at ranges of over 200 km.

   There is a single OTO Melara Super Rapid 76 mm dual-purpose gun. This rapid firing weapon has a range of up to 15 km and can engage surface ships, air targets and bombard land targets. Also there are three Nexter Narwhal 20B remote weapon systems with 20 mm cannons. These are used to engage close-in surface threats.

   These frigates have both hull and towed array sonars for submarine detection. There are two twin 324-mm tubes for EUROTORP MU90 lightweight torpedoes. These can be used against submarines, as well as surface ships.

   There is a hangar for a single NH90 NFH helicopter. It is used for long-range anti-submarine and anti-ship missions.

   These warships have advanced Combined Diesel-Electric or Gas (CODLOG) type propulsion. This hybrid-electric propulsion is best for quiet anti-submarine operations. At low speeds propulsion is provided by two electric motors, developing 2.5 MW (3 350 shp) each. There are four diesel generators to power these motors. For normal and high speed operations there is a single General Electric LM2500+G4 gas turbine, developing 42 900 shp. Maximum speed is 28 knots (52 km/h). These French frigates have a range of 11 100 km (6 000 nautical miles) at 15 knots (28 km/h).

   The Italian Carlo Bergamini class warships are larger, have superior weapons and carry two helicopters instead of one, but lack any land attack cruise missiles.

 

Ships for the French Navy

 

Name Laid down Launched Commissioned Status
Aquitaine (650) 2007 2010 2012

active, in service

Provence (652)

2010 2013 2015

active, in service

Languedoc (653)

2011 2014 2016

active, in service

Auvergne (654)

2012 2015 expected in 2017

under construction

Bretagne (655)

2013 ? expected in 2018

under construction

Normandie ? ? expected in 2019

ordered

Alsace ? ? expected in 2021

ordered

Lorraine ? ? expected in 2022

ordered

 

Ships for the Moroccan Navy

 

Name Laid down Launched Commissioned Status
Mohammed VI (701) 2008 2011 2014

active, in service

 

Ships for the Egyptian Navy

 

Name Laid down Launched Commissioned Status
Tahya Misr (1001) 2009 2012 2016

active, in service

 

 
Aquitaine class

Aquitaine class

Aquitaine class

Aquitaine class

Aquitaine class


 
Aquitaine class

Aquitaine class

Aquitaine class

Aquitaine class

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