French Navy Commissions First Air Defense FREMM ‘Alsace’

The French Navy (Marine Nationale) multi-mission frigate (FREMM) “Alsace” entered “active duty” (admission au service actif in French) on 22 November 2021. It is the seventh Aquitaine-class FREMM overall but the first of two air-defense frigate in the FREMM DA (Frégate Européenne Multimissions de Défense Aérienne) variant.

On 17 November, the successful firing of the Aster 30 anti-aircraft missile validated Alsace‘s operational capabilities. She now joins the other FREMMs that form the backbone of the French surface fleet.

The FREMM DA Alsace  was launched April 18, 2019 at the Naval Group shipyard of Lorient thirteen months after its keel laying. It is the ninth FREMM frigate built by Naval Group and the seventh one for the French Navy. The FREMM DA program started in 2008. Alsace and Lorraine are replacing the two Cassard-class (Type F70 AA) frigates and their ageing SM-1 surface to air missiles. Cassard was decommissioned on 15 march 2019 and Jean Bart was decommissioned earlier this year.

Alsace‘ sistership, Lorraine, (the final FREMM for the French Navy) was launched in November 2020 and is set to be delivered in the second half of 2022.  Following the delivery of its last FREMM, Naval Group will transition to the FDI, the next generation of frigates for the French Navy.

All six FREMM in their ASW (anti-submarine warfare) variant have been delivered between 2012 and 2019 to the French Navy. Aquitaine in 2012, Provence in 2015, Languedoc in 2016, Auvergne in April 2017, Bretagne in July 2018 and Normandie in July 2019. On the international side, Morocco received the Mohammed VI in 2014 and Egypt the Tahya Misr in 2015.

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