The Chief of Staff of the French Navy (Marine Nationale) Admiral Christophe Prazuck announced June 3 that the French Navy FS Normandie (D651) entered active service. FS Normandie was developed as part of a joint Italian-French program known as FREMM, which was implemented to develop a new class of frigates for use by various European navies. The vessel was launched on Feb. 1, 2018, at Naval Group’s Lorient site. She is the eighth FREMM frigate to be built in Lorient and the sixth in the series ordered by OCCAR on behalf of the French defense procurement agency DGA for the French Navy.
FS Normandie is the last of the first batch of anti-submarine warfare (ASW) variant FREMM frigates ordered by the French Navy. The next two frigates are of air defense (FREMM DA) variant, first of which, FS Alsace (D656), was launched on April 18, 2019. Earlier this year Normandie deployed on a long cruise, a long duration deployment to test all of the ship’ systems ahead of its formal admission into active service. During this long cruise to Canada and the United States, she conducted some Link 22 tests, a first for the French Navy. Concluding her long-term cruise in March 2020, FS Normandie joined the carrier strike group for the “Foch 2020 mission.”
On 16th July 2019, the 6th French Multi-Mission Frigate ASW Class FREMM Follow on Ship “Normandie” was accepted by OCCAR and delivered to the French Navy in agreement with the Direction Générale de l’Armement. Her name honors the memory of all those who died in June 1944 on the Normandy beaches, sacrificing their lives for the benefit of freedom. Her pennant brings to life the Viking spirit, that of the people who came by drakkar to conquer the Normandy region, and which encourages sailors to go forward together, as a crew. The acceptance of the “Normandie” is the result of intensive work within a tight schedule of the teams of Naval Group, its industrial partners, the French Navy, DGA and OCCAR.
The FREMM (Frégate européenne multi-mission or Fregata europea multi-missione) is a class of multi-purpose frigates designed by Naval Group and Fincantieri for the navies of France and Italy. In France the class is known as the Aquitaine class, while in Italy they are known as the Bergamini class. Italy has ordered six general purpose variants and four anti-submarine variants. France has ordered six anti-submarine variants, and two air-defence variants. The FREMM Programme remains the most ambitious and largest European Naval Initiative with a total of 18 frigates (8 ordered by France and 10 by Italy). The French FREMM frigates will form the backbone of the French Surface Fleet.