Naval Group Completes Modernization of the French Navy's Third La Fayette Frigate

Aconit's upgrade boosts anti-submarine capabilities with overhauls in combat system, optronic surveillance, anti-air defense, and structure.
  • Defensemirror.com bureau
  • 11:11 AM, February 13, 2024
  • 1065
Naval Group Completes Modernization of the French Navy's Third La Fayette Frigate
La Fayette frigate 'Aconit'

Naval Group has officially announced the successful completion of the modernization process for the third and final La Fayette frigate (FLF), the Aconit, in late 2023.

The comprehensive six-month refurbishment, encompassing both dockside and sea trials, aimed to ensure the vessel's functionality and alignment with updated specifications.

Commencing in 2017 under the oversight of the French General Armament Directorate (DGA), the program focused on bolstering the anti-submarine warfare capabilities and extending the operational life of the Courbet, La Fayette, and Aconit frigates.

The core of the modernization efforts was dedicated to addressing obsolescence concerns, updating various systems, and introducing new capabilities to enhance the aging frigates. A noteworthy transformation occurred in the combat system (CMS), as the original was replaced by the Naval Group-developed SENIT. Optronic surveillance capabilities were refreshed, structural strength and stability were improved, and the outdated Crotale anti-air defense system made way for two Sadral systems armed with the latest-generation Mistral very short-range ground-to-air missiles. Additionally, the inclusion of a hull sonar endowed the FLFs with advanced anti-submarine warfare capabilities.

In the sea trials phase conducted post-modernization, the Aconit exhibited satisfactory maneuverability, despite an increased displacement by several tones and the addition of the sonar dome. The trials also validated the maintenance of acoustic discretion levels, achievement of maximum speed targets, and successful integration of the sonar and new combat steering system, thereby enhancing the overall performance of the Aconit frigate.

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