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Belharra-class frigate / Frégate de Défense et d'Intervention (FDI)

Posted by: Andrei Dcs

Frégate de Défense et d'Intervention (FDI), also known as Belharra-class (sometimes stylizized as BELH@RRA) is a new French class of frigates developed by Naval Group under the Frégates de taille intermédiaire (FTI) program.

A total of five ships of the Belharra-class frigate are planned to be built by DCNS for the French Navy.

Frégate de Défense et d'Intervention (FDI) will also be offered to foreign clients.

Author: Borvan53 from Wikimedia Commons / Edited by Andrei Dcs, Defence Database Editor
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Frégates de taille intermédiaire (FTI) program was planned as a result of the need of the French Navy for a total of 15 advanced surface combatants.

Thus, the future five Belharra-class frigates will join the ten newest surface combatants of the French Navy: five Horizon-class destroyers and five Aquitaine-class (FREMM) frigates.

The Frégates de taille intermédiaire (FTI) program was officially anounced on 29 May 2015 by the then French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.

Oficially designated Frégate de Défense et d'Intervention" (FDI), the five new frigates were desined with a contained size to better respond to the export market.

Naval Group has high hopes regarding the possible foreign orders for this design, so in this regard, the FDI design was also named as Belharra class.

The five Frégate de Défense et d'Intervention ships are supposed to replace ship-for-ship the current five La Fayette frigates of the French Navy.

But this entire replacement will not take place very soon, since three of the La Fayette-class frigates will undergo a modernization program.

Belharra-class will be a general-purpose frigate with a length of 122 m (400 ft) and a displacement of 4.460 t (4.390 long tons; 4.916 short tons).

With a Combined diesel and diesel (CODAD) type propulsion, the Frégate de Défense et d'Intervention (FDI) will have a total output of 32,000 kW (42,900 shp) and a maximum speed of 27 knots (50.0 km/h; 31.1 mph).

At a speed of 15 knots (27.8 km/h / 17.3 mph), Belharra frigates will have a range of 5,000 nautical miles (9,300 km 5,800 miles).

The complement will consist of 110 members, excluding the aircrew detachment that will have approximately 15 members.

Frégate de Défense et d'Intervention (FDI) will be a very advanced warship in terms of sensors and processing systems.

The main search radar is an S-band Thales SeaFire multi-function Active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar.

It will have a Kingklip Mark 1115 hull sonar and a CAPTAS-4 towed sonar.

Frégate de Défense et d'Intervention (FDI) will be a general-purpose frigate capable to fight in three combat environments: anti-air, anti-ship, and anti-submarine warfare.

Belharra will have a strong air defense capability, being equipped with two Sylver A50 8-cell vertical launch systems (VLS), for a total of 16 Aster 15 and Aster 30 interceptors.

The anti-ship capability will be provided by the battle-proven Exocet missile. The future French frigate will have a total of eight Exocet MM-40 Block 3 anti-ship missiles, the laster version of the well-known Exocet.

Belharra will also have two dual torpedo tubes to host the EuroTorp MU90 impact torpedoes.

An Oto Melara 76 mm super rapid gun mounted in a stealth cupola and other two 20 mm remotely operated guns complete the armament onboard.

Belharra will have a hangar for hosting an NHIndustries NH90 medium helicopter.

The NH90 helicopter onboard on FDI will be armed with air-to-surface missiles, torpedoes, and optionally a heavy machine gun.

Future ships of the Belharra (FDI) class

The French Navy (Marine Nationale) already ordered a total of five ships of the Frégates de taille intermédiaire (FTI) program:

- Amiral Ronarc'h - Amiral Louzeau - Amiral Castex - Amiral Nomy - Amiral Cabanier

All five ships will be built at DCNS Lorient.

The lead ship, Admiral Ronarc’h is already in construction being laid down on 24 October 2019.

Greece will also buy three Belharra-class frigates along with three Gowind 2500 corvettes for the Hellenic Navy.

Belharra-class (FDI) frigate - General Data and Specifications: