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Sea trials begin for French frigate

April 20, 2011 at 7:13 AM

PARIS, April 20 (UPI) -- French naval defense company DCNS is starting sea trials of the first-of-class FREMM frigate built for the French navy.

Trials of the Aquitaine will take place off the Brittany peninsula and are expected to last several weeks, DCNS said. The ship is to be delivered to the French navy next year.

The frigate is 465 feet long, displaces more than 6,000 tons and has a maximum speed of 27 knots.

The FREMM program calls for calls for 12 ships -- 11 for the French navy and one for the Moroccan navy. Ship weaponry and systems include Thales Herakles multifunction radar, MdCN deep-strike cruise missiles, Aster anti-air missiles, Exocet MM40 anti-ship missiles and MU90 torpedoes.

"These trials represent the culmination of the combined efforts of many people working toward common goals, including teams employed by DCNS and its partners and suppliers, the trials crews and customer representatives," said FREMM program manager Vincent Martinot-Lagarde.

The focus of initial sea trials are on basic systems and will be followed by tests of the ship's propulsion system.

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