Thales joins DCNS in welcoming the award by the French defence ministry of the contract for the development and construction of five intermediate-size frigates for the French Navy under the FTI (Frégate de Taille Intermédiaire) programme managed by the French defence procurement agency (DGA). The first frigate will be delivered in 2023 and is scheduled to enter service in 2025.
- Working alongside DCNS, Thales will provide a number of latest-generation systems for the French Navy's future intermediate-size frigate programme (FTI).
- Thales is to supply the SEA FIRE multi-function radar, the compact version of the CAPTAS-4 towed-array sonar, the Aquilon integrated naval communication system, and the SENTINEL electronic warfare system.
- • Thales equipment and systems are in service with 53 navies on board more than 500 vessels.
Digital frigate featuring latest-generation equipment
The new frigate, to be named BELH@RRA, will be equipped with a number of high-tech systems developed by Thales:
- The SEA FIRE multi-function radar, an all-digital radar with four flat-panel arrays, which meets the requirements of a broad range of missions, from ship self-defence to extended air defence
- The compact version of the CAPTAS-4 towed-array sonar, which will provide the highest level of submarine detection performance of any sonar on the market
- The Aquilon integrated digital communications system, and an IFF (Identification Friend of Foe) associated with the SEA FIRE radar
- The SENTINEL system, an advanced digital electronic warfare system built around a modular architecture.
Thales is proud to be selected alongside DCNS for the French Navy’s future intermediate-size frigate programme. The Group is a long-standing partner of the French defence community, and today we are a global industry leader in the digital transformation of the armed forces. The French Navy will benefit from the latest high-tech systems and the internationally recognised expertise of Thales teams
Patrice Caine, Chairman and CEO, Thales Group
The contract will have a positive impact on hundreds of jobs at Thales facilities. The SEA FIRE radar is developed and integrated in Rouen and Limours, while the CAPTAS-4 compact sonar is manufactured in Brest and Sophia-Antipolis. Systems engineering for the Aquilon system is carried out in Gennevilliers, and the SENTINEL electronic warfare system is produced at the Cholet and Brest facilities. Laval and Brive-La-Gaillarde are involved in developing the IFF and naval V/UHF radio, respectively.
Thales equipment on board the new BELH@RRA digital frigate
SEA FIRE radar
Developed with the support of the French authorities, SEA FIRE is a fully solid-state multi-function radar with a four-panel phased array antenna. It meets the requirements of a broad range of missions, from ship self-defence to extended air defence, and can deploy ASTER missiles. SEA FIRE is designed to perform in the complex conditions of the littoral or in heavily jammed environments to counter conventional, asymmetric or emerging air and surface threats. The new radar is suitable for all types of corvettes and frigates.
CAPTAS-4 compact sonar
This system is a compact, modular version of the CAPTAS-4 towed array sonar currently in service on the FREMM multi-mission frigates. It delivers the same ultra-long-range detection performance as CAPTAS-4 with 20% lower weight and a footprint almost 50% smaller. This compact version of the sonar will provide the FTI with the highest level of submarine detection performance of any sonar on the market.
Aquilon integrated naval communication system
Thales is also supplying the Aquilon fully integrated naval communication system and an IFF system associated with the SEA FIRE radar. Aquilon is already in service with the French Navy and numerous other naval forces. Built around an IP architecture, it provides all shipboard and external communications and delivers secure connectivity services for frigate and crew, guaranteeing interoperability between all the actors taking part in the FTI's future missions.
ESM electronic warfare system
The new SENTINEL electronic warfare system from Thales is also built around the very latest technology. With a modular architecture, this all-digital system guarantees electromagnetic compatibility with modern shipboard systems and is capable of precisely identifying fast manoeuvring threats in the complex RF environments encountered in littoral waters.