Floating Out of Air Defence (AD) FREMM Lorraine: Objectives Met Amid Health Crisis

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The last multi-mission frigate and tenth unit of the FREMM series was floated out Nov 13 at the Naval Group site of Lorient. The crossing of this milestone opens the pathway to the ship’s first sea outing, planned for February 2022 and to the maintenance of its contractual delivery date, the following November. It testifies to the industrial and technological mastery of Naval Group and the resilience of its employees, who were able to re-organise the schedule and remain mobilised despite the health crisis.

“During the health crisis, our teams juggled trade-offs in order to avoid any delay in the delivery of the two air defence frigates, the Alsace and the Lorraine, the last in the FREMM series. Additional resources were assigned to the organisation of the first sea outing of the Alsace, initially planned for May 2020”, explains Alan Le Coroller, FREMM Production Programme package Manager.

“Floating out of the Lorraine took place thanks to the excellent pre-outfitting rate of the hull blocks and the implementation of action plans on the assembly activities of the propulsion chain and the electricity part. All the skill specialities took part in coordinating the work and the platform and combat system specialities modified the way they worked to optimise production. Finally, we reinforced the coordination/planning part of the project, calling on personnel from other Group sites to consolidate teams in the field.”

“This commitment of our employees, but also of our partners and subcontractors, deserves to be applauded: everyone mobilised to find solutions to the constraints related to the health crisis”, emphasises Nicolas Gaspard, FREMM Programme Director.

“The schedule of the Lorraine is closely linked to that of the Alsace, a ‘strategic’ execution since it was the first of the two air defence FREMMs planned since the outset of the program in order to supplement the fleet of anti-submarine warfare FREMMs, a domain in which they are provided with equivalent qualities” recalls Nicolas Gaspard.

In addition to these anti-submarine warfare capabilities, the vocation of these frigates is to defend a fleet. Their radar is therefore equipped with additional modules extending its range and power and their mast was adapted to facilitate this long distance detection. In addition to this capability, which makes them even more versatile, they also benefit from continuous improvement that capitalises on the lessons learned from previous units already in service, and from new communication capabilities that have appeared in the last fifteen years. They are thus very up-to-date!”

“In production, the lessons learned related to the specificities of the cinched mast of the Alsace were incorporated very quickly on the Lorraine: the non-conformance sheets written were duplicated to be applied to the next ship: this is one of the great strengths of the series”, said Alan Le Coroller. –ng/shp/mgm (Photo: Naval Group)