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First French FREMM frigate Aquitaine begins sea trials


Aquitaine, the first of 11 multimission frigates on order for the French navy, sailed from the DCNS yard in Lorient for its initial sea trials. Photo: DCNS.

BRITTANY PENINSULA (BNS): DCNS has begun the sea trials of the frigate Aquitaine, the first ship built under the FREMM multi mission frigate programme from the Lorient harbor off the Brittany peninsula.

Aquitaine is the first of 11 FREMM multimission frigates ordered by the Direction Generale de l’Armement on behalf of the French Navy.

The company has scheduled the delivery of the frigate by 2012.

The trials will demonstrate the ship’s sea keeping and other nautical qualities as well as the performance of the propulsion and navigation systems.

The test will be conducted in two phases, in the familiarisation phase, the crew will test vessel’s safety systems and equipment, including the fire-fighting, flood control and emergency response systems and evacuation procedures as well as manoeuvrability and mooring performance.

The next phase will focus on the propulsion system. The FREMM’s high-performance hybrid CODLOG (COmbined Diesel eLectric Or Gas) power package combines a gas turbine for high-speed mechanical propulsion and electric motors powered by four diesel-alternator sets for low-speed propulsion. The system will be tested in all configurations from low-speed silent-mode all-electric propulsion to high-speed gas turbine-powered mechanical propulsion, including runs at maximum speed.

In June, the ship will put to sea for a second campaign of trials focusing on the combat system.

According to the DCNS, the French FREMM programme calls for 12 ships – 11 for the French Navy and one for the Royal Moroccan Navy.

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