On September 13, 2021, the Directorate General for Armaments (DGA) took delivery of the new installations of the first renovated La Fayette (FLF) -type Frigate, the Courbet , after a sea trial campaign.
This program will see three ships modernized: Courbet followed by La Fayette and then Aconit. Fourth class member Surcouf is now part of the Mission Jeanne d’Arc Training Squadron. The future of fifth member Guepratte is knot known.
On October 4, 2021, the FLF La Fayette began work on its upgrade, which should be completed in the summer of 2022.
Three of the five FLF of the French Navy are concerned by these renovations: the Courbet , the La Fayette and the Aconit . Lasting nine months, they allow them to be modernized and equipped with new capacities while extending their service life beyond 2030.
The last refurbished FLF, the Aconit, will be delivered in 2023.
Worth around 400 million euros, the renovation notably allows the addition of a hull sonar to provide the three FLFs concerned with anti-submarine warfare capabilities. It also allows the modernization of their combat system, their optronic watch capabilities, the improvement of their structural resistance and their stability. Their Crotale anti-aircraft defense system has been replaced by two Sadral systems armed with very short-range Mistral surface-to-air missiles of the latest generation.
Project management for the site is provided by the DGA and industrial project management by Naval Group. Maintenance work in operational condition is carried out simultaneously by Chantiers de l’Atlantique under the project management of the Fleet Support Service (SSF), all in the form of a collaborative work platform involving all partners at the Toulon naval base.
The project schedule was fully respected, despite the health crisis. The renovation works ended with a phase of sea trials. They made it possible to demonstrate the maneuverability capabilities of the building despite the increase in displacement (more than 80 tonnes), to confirm the maintenance of levels of acoustic discretion. , to reach the maximum speed objectives but also to validate the integration of a new combat management system with increased performance. Finally, the technical feat is the physical and functional integration of the underwater detection capability: a sonar dome 1.5 m wide by 5 m long and 1.8 m high. The performance of this sonar, the KingKlip Mark II, has proven to be very satisfactory.
During this renovation, the technical centers of the DGA were each mobilized in their area of expertise: naval architecture, hydrodynamics, naval artillery, cyber, aerial competitions.
Designed to fulfill prevention, protection and intervention missions, the La Fayette-type frigates contribute to crisis management and to the protection of French interests throughout the world. They entered service between 1996 and 2001.