Alsace, Suffren, SLAM-F: The French Navy reveals its new operational face

Like the Army and the Air Force, the Marine Nationale French is extremely in demand for many years, and suffered from a chronic lack of investment to replace its prominent naval units. The arrival of FREMM frigates, from 2012, made it possible to start a modernization process which, today, is in full swing, as shown by 3 major events that have occurred almost in quick succession in recent days, with the tests of the frigate Alsace, followed by the delivery of the Suffren submarine; and the official launch of the SLAM-F mine warfare program.

The frigate Alsace is the first unit of the FREMM DA type, for Air Defense, the construction of which began in June 2016 and the launch took place in April 2019. Subclass of the class of versatile anti-submarine frigates Aquitaine, l 'Alsace, and its sister ship Lorraine which will follow within a year, sold off their Sylver70 vertical launch systems carrying 16 MdCN cruise missiles, to replace them with two Sylver50 systems using 16 Aster 30 anti-aircraft missiles additional, bringing the total to 32 such missiles for this ship. In addition, the Herakles radar has been modified to extend its aerial watch capabilities so as to allow the Aster30s, capable of reaching targets over 100 km away, to give their full potential.

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The frigate Alsace at the Lorient arsenal. Notice the thinner main mast to extend the detection capabilities of the modified Heracles radar.

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