Maintaining France’s LaFayette Frigates
DCNS recently announced a EUR 60 million (about $80 million) contract for through-life support (TLS) services from 2011-2015 to the French Navy’s 5 La Fayette Class frigates: F710 La Fayette, F711 Surcouf, F712 Courbet, F713 Aconit, and F714 Guepratte.
The new TLS contract will come into effect in spring 2011, when the FS Surcouf is laid up for a scheduled refit…
The 3,600t light stealth frigate class can operate in medium threat waters, thanks to their low radar and thermal signatures, short range Crotale NG air defense system, and Exocet missiles. In time, the class will add Aster 15 missiles to improve its air defense capabilities. Overall, the La Fayettes fit between the French Marine Nationale’s very light Floreal Class of 6 surveillance frigates, and full multi-role ships like the new FREMM Aquitaine Class. La Fayette variants have been exported to Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and Taiwan.
Work on the TLS contract will be performed at Toulon NB, where DCNS will assign dedicated resources and management to a dedicated area at the shipyard, including the Castigneau drydocks. The management team will be located on site alongside teams of engineers, buyers, assistants, mechanics, electricians, metalworkers, etc. for the duration of the contract. These teams will be supported by additional production staff and resources as needed. During this process, they expect to have one vessel in drydock, and another at a nearby wharf, at any given time. DCNS [in French] | Shephard Group.
State-controlled DCNS has been playing this role for a long time, with a wide variety of French ships. “DCNS’ 2009 French TLS Naval Service Contracts” covered long-term TLS arrangements for most of France’s frigates, from the A-69 and C.70 types to the F67 Tourville Class, the ultra-modern Horizon Class, and 2 specialty ships besides. “DCNS Wins EUR 1b to Maintain France’s Nuclear Subs” covered similar TLS arrangements to maintain France’s submarine fleets.