April 25 (UPI) -- Five intermediate-sized frigates are to be constructed for the French Navy by DCNS under contract from the French defense procurement agency, DGA.
The ships are to be developed and built using the company's new BELH@RRA frigate. The French version of the ships will enter into active service in 2025, the company said.
Thales is partnering with DCNS to supply the vessels with a new generation of radar and the frigates will carry Aster 30 missiles made by MBDA.
"DCNS is proud to contribute, alongside Thales, to the renewal of the French naval forces thanks to a new vessel responding to the needs of a world-class navy," Hervé Guillou, chairman and chief executive officer at DCNS, said in a press release. "It is a key component of our range of military vessels and the attribution of this contract also allows us to develop a frigate that addresses the expectations of a dynamic international market."
BELH@RRA digital frigates displace more than 4,000 tons and are intended for use in anti-submarine warfare, in addition to the latest digital technologies that DCNS and France says will be updated incrementally to keep the systems modernized and current.
The French version of the BELH@RRA will also have extended self-defense and special forces projection capacities, and will integrate Thales' Sea Fire four flat antenna radar.