The French Navy favors the Naval Group corvette Gowind to replace the 6 Floréal frigates

Entered into service between 1992 and 1994, the 6 Floréal Frigates, designated surveillance frigates by the French Navy, effectively carry out numerous missions ranging from sovereignty to the fight against drug trafficking, over the entire 11 million km² of the Zone Economic Exclusive French.

These light frigates, 93,5 m long, with a load displacement of almost 3 tonnes, will have to be replaced at the start of the next decade, after 000 years of intense operational activity.

If, until now, it seemed that this replacement was to be ensured by the European Patrol Corvette program, Naval group has confirmed that the hypothesis of choosing the Gowind corvette, for this mission, was now favored by the French Navy , and the Ministry of the Armed Forces.

The Gowind corvette will replace the Floréal class surveillance frigates of the French Navy

It is in any case what Stéphane Frémont, vice-president of export of Naval Group, explained, at the microphone of Xavier Vavasseur for Naval News, on the occasion of the DSA 2024 exhibition which was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from May 6 to 9.

According to the French leader, it is, in fact, the Gowind corvette model which was selected by the French Navy, to replace the six Floréal class surveillance frigates. The contract should be negotiated in the coming years.

surveillance frigate Floréal
The 6 Floréal class surveillance frigates experienced particularly sustained activity to secure, on their own, the 11 million km2 of the French Exclusive Economic Zone.

The type of Gowind was not specified. However, we can expect, considering the missions that the ships will have to fulfill, that it will be either a Gowind 2500, a corvette of 102 meters and 2500 tonnes, or, more improbably, an extended version which would be close to the Gowind of the Maharaja Lela class, which reach 111 meters and 3100 tonnes.

As Stéphane Frémont explains in the interview, the operational differences, particularly in terms of armament and sensors, between the Gowind 2500 and the Maharadja Tali class, are however minor, the two ships carrying the same integrated mast, the same system combat, the same sensors and identical weaponry.

An efficient ship with extensive capabilities, including anti-submarine warfare

The choice of the Gowind to replace the Floréal is undoubtedly good news for the French Navy. If the 6 Floréals have remarkably fulfilled their missions since 1992, they had, in fact, been designed for low intensity missions, and especially coast guard missions, having no anti-submarine capacity, and limited surface-to-air resources, with two Simbads armed with Mistral 3. In 2015, the MM38 Exocet anti-ship missiles were even landed, in response to the perception of the evolution of current threats.

Since then, obviously, global tensions have created completely different needs, in particular for ships deployed in the Pacific, the Indian Ocean and near the Persian Gulf.

This is where Gowinds can provide considerable added value. Indeed, the corvettes have a wide range of capabilities, including 16 MICA VL missiles in vertical cells for air defense, 8 MM40 Exocet anti-ship missiles, a 76 mm cannon, as well as two torpedo tubes. triple for Mu90 anti-submarine torpedoes.

Corvette Gowind Egypt
The Gowind 2500 corvettes, like those used by the Egyptian Navy, have a full range of detection systems and weapon systems, giving them capabilities close to those of many frigates.

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