- Awarded to Thales by Naval Group, the seven-year contract to provide through-life support for the French Navy's multi-mission frigates (FREMM) has come into effect.
- The contract will secure the long-term operational availability of the Thales equipment on board the FREMM frigates to guarantee that the French Navy can conduct its missions in a timely fashion.
- An integrated team of experts from Naval Group and Thales has been formed to speed up the diagnosis and resolution of technical subjects and sustain the operational capabilities of the FREMM frigates over the long term.
The FREMM through-life support contract, which came into effect in January 2023, is one of the largest support contracts awarded to Thales by Naval Group since the creation of the French Navy's Fleet Support Service (SSF). It will guarantee the at-sea availability of the Navy's eight multi-mission frigates based in Brest and Toulon. Thales will draw on its industrial resources and product expertise to support the warships, ensure the day-to-day availability of their on-board systems and sustain their operational capabilities over the long term.
The FREMM programme was launched in 2005 and is one of the major components of France's anti-submarine warfare capability. Equipped with Thales sonars, radars, optronics and communication systems, the frigates are widely acclaimed for their operational range, endurance and high performance: the ships and their crews have been endorsed by the US Navy for their anti-submarine warfare capabilities, winning prestigious Hook’em Awards in 2020, 2021 and 2022.
The intensive deployment of warships and their systems puts added pressure on every component of a naval force. The operational availability of France's multi-mission frigates is a key factor in maintaining the country's naval capabilities and ensuring the freedom of action of the French armed forces.
To optimise the use of the French Navy's resources over the long term, Naval Group and Thales are setting up an integrated centre of expertise drawing on the specialised know-how and capabilities of both companies. To troubleshoot and resolve technical subjects quickly and efficiently, the centre's dedicated multi-disciplinary team will constantly monitor the technical performance of the Thales equipment and provide a rapid response capability at all times. Thales will ensure proactive component obsolescence management to further enhance the agility of the FREMM technical support teams, analysing system status on a regular basis to identify potential supply chain issues and speed problem resolution by experts from Naval Group and Thales.
"Thales is proud to have this opportunity to build on more than 50 years of experience in the supply of high-tech naval equipment, systems and services by working alongside Naval Group to ensure the operational availability of the French Navy's FREMM frigates. This contract is a further illustration of the trust placed by the French Navy and Naval Group in Thales's ability to provide locally based, long-term support for the strategic equipment underpinning French naval power." Philippe Duhamel, EVP Defence Mission Systems, Thales