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DCNS launches Morocco’s FREMM frigate.


| 2011
a
World Naval Industry News - DCNS/Morocco
 
 
 
DCNS launches Morocco’s FREMM frigate
 
French shipbuilder DCNS has launched Morocco’s first and only FREMM frigate. The FREMM vessel will be delivered in 2013.The launch took place at DCNS’s Lorient shipyard yesterday in the presence of senior Moroccan and French officials, including Admiral Laghmari, Inspector General of the Royal Moroccan Navy, Admiral Verwaerde of the French Navy and Patrick Boissier, Chairman & CEO of DCNS.
     
French shipbuilder DCNS has launched Morocco’s first and only FREMM frigate. The FREMM vessel will be delivered in 2013.The launch took place at DCNS’s Lorient shipyard yesterday in the presence of senior Moroccan and French officials, including Admiral Laghmari, Inspector General of the Royal Moroccan Navy, Admiral Verwaerde of the French Navy and Patrick Boissier, Chairman & CEO of DCNS.
     
The rollout of the vessel is a major milestone, especially as it is the first FREMM frigate for an export customer - the type has only been ordered by France and Italy. DCNS plans to build eleven FREMM frigates for France and Orizzonte Sistemi Navali will build ten for the Italian Navy. The first vessels should be commissioned next year.

Morocco’s US$676 million contract for the frigate was finalised with DCNS in April 2008 and construction began at Lorient in December 2008. In the next few months, DCNS personnel at the Lorient facility will continue assembly work on the vessel at the quayside. The next major phase is installation of the mast infrastructure, which will house the vessel's sensor suites, DCNS said in a statement.

The multirole FREMM frigates have been designed for several roles, including anti-air, anti-ship and anti-submarine warfare. They feature Herakles multifunction radar, Aster anti-air missiles, Exocet MM40 anti-ship missiles, MU90 torpedoes and an Otobreda 76 mm gun. Each vessel is 142 metres long, has a beam of 20 metres and displaces 6 000 tonnes.

The frigates are powered by gas turbines giving a top speed of 27 knots. For quiet anti-submarine operations, the shafts are driven by electric motors, giving a silent mode speed of up to 15 knots.

Although there is accommodation for 145 personnel, the standard complement is 108 including the helicopter crew. The frigate has an aft helicopter hangar and deck able to accommodate medium helicopters like the NH90, EH101 and Cougar.

The Royal Moroccan Navy is modernising and expanding its capabilities, especially with the acquisition of two French-built Floreal class frigates in 2002 and the purchase of three SIGMA frigates in 2008. Morocco’s first SIGMA class frigate, Tarik ben Ziyad, was on Monday transferred to the Royal Moroccan Navy after completing sea trials and outfitting. At the end of this month, after training is concluded, the Tarik ben Ziyad will start her maiden voyage to Morocco.

Morocco will use the FREMM frigate to patrol its long coastline and take part in joint operations with NATO and other navies. The Navy has also expanded the number of offshore and coastal patrol vessels to counter illegal fishing and people smuggling.

Morocco’s current naval fleet includes two Floréal-class frigates and a Descubierta-class corvette in addition to some 21 patrol craft and a number of other ships and vessels. Four more patrol craft are also on order.

 
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