LORIENT, France, Oct. 22 (UPI) -- French shipbuilder DCNS has launched the second of 12 FREMM multipurpose frigates ordered by French defense procurement agency DGA.
The launch took place last week at the DCNS facility in Lorient and was attended by senior government officials.
The next phased of construction of the frigate, named the Normandie, will involve installation of the mast infrastructure, which will house the vessel's sensor suites, such as radars, antennas, cameras and jammers.
"The FREMM program is a vivid testament to DCNS's industrial performance and our ability to meet the technical and economic expectations of our customers," said Patrick Boissier, chairman and chief executive officer of DCNS.
FREMM frigates are 466 feet long and 66 feet in the beam. They have a speed of more than 27 knots and a range of 6,000 nautical miles. Weaponry includes Aster anti-air missiles, Exocet MM40 anti-ship missiles and MU90 torpedoes.
Although production of the frigates was ordered by DGA, the FREMM program itself is managed by OCCAR, a European intergovernmental organization for the collaborative arms programs of Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Britain, since Italy is also building FREMM frigates.
The first FREMM frigate ordered by France, the Mohammed VI, is for the Moroccan navy.