Défense
STX France, renewed focus on corvettes and frigates

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STX France, renewed focus on corvettes and frigates

Défense

Acknowledged as the builder of the world’s largest cruise liners, Saint-Nazaire-based STX France also has a solid track record in warship construction. Several decades ago, the company built the Foch aircraft carrier for the French Navy. STX France works closely with DCNS on large-platform projects and programmes, including current-generation Mistral-class LHDs and next-generation logistic support vessels for domestic and international clients.

The company has also built hydro-oceanographic vessels and the Floreal-class surveillance frigates delivered to the French Navy between 1992 and 1994 and the Moroccan Navy in 2002–03.

F3000

The shipbuilder now plans a new family of innovative frigates inspired by the Floreal class of the 1990s, but to be marketed exclusively to international clients. The flagship version has been dubbed the F3000. With a low-resistance hull and low maintenance and operating costs, the design has been optimised for extended EEZ surveillance and protection missions. The baseline version is effectively a large OPV with ample provision for options, including a full sensor suite, intelligence gathering and self-defence systems, resources for at-sea intervention — notably a 10t-class helicopter and two 7m RHIBs — and both a hull-mounted sonar and a towed array.

 

F3000 frigate (© : STX France)

F3000 frigate (© : STX France)

 

Designed primarily to deal with low-intensity threats, the F3000 is for navies that seek to acquire rugged, long-lasting and economical multimission vessels but do not need, or cannot afford, frigates designed to the highest naval standards, particularly as regards compartment architecture.

Floreal frigates will be built to commercial rather than naval shipbuilding standards, resulting in lower construction costs and more opportunities for in-country construction. This is, moreover, STX France’s key selling point as it will be targeting technology transfer programmes for international clients by offering engineering expertise and technical assistance along with the contributions of major system integrators like Thales and MBDA. Aside from electronics and weapon systems, STX France and its co-contractors offer combat management options ranging from advanced CMSs to command and control systems, bearing in mind that a Floreal operations centre will comprise ten or more consoles. The range of accommodation options is also both extensive and modular to suit the client’s crewing needs.

F3000 technical data

Displacement: 3,000 t

Dimensions (m): 101 x 15.5

Speed: 25 kts

Range: 4,500 nm at 15 kts

Accomodation: 80 (+45)

Weapons: 4 x SSM – 2 x Short-range SAM – 1 x 76 mm – 1 x 35 mm – 1 x 25 mm – 2 triple torpedo launchers – 1 helicopters (10 t)

Electronic systems: 3D radar – hull and towed sonars

 

DefendSeas corvette (© : STX France)

DefendSeas corvette (© : STX France)

 

DefendSeas

STX France is developing a range of corvettes and offshore patrol vessels based on the DefendSeas concept. DefendSeas offers significant energy and environmental benefits arising from the Écorizon® R&D programme. DefendSeas ships integrate technological building blocks and innovations into an optimised architecture. Basically, DefendSeas is an ideas toolbox to mix and match a warship’s capabilities to the customer’s operational requirements.

The DefendSeas team built on STX France’s expertise in commercial and naval shipbuilding to propose a platform combining proven solutions with an innovative architecture and layout. One eye-catching feature is an ingenious helicopter handling system in the form of a lift that fits between two sections of a retractable deck. The superstructure volume normally occupied by the hangar is then reallocated allowing all storage spaces to be grouped together on the deck below.

 

 

The hangar opens directly aft onto a 500sq.m modular space divided into three mission-configurable bays (typically for three 9.5m RHIBs) and four more for 20 foot containers, more RHIBs, or light military vehicles. The RHIBs are launched and recovered one or two at a time via a stern ramp and two side doors. All handling in these areas is performed by a single overhead crane. Note that for humanitarian missions, logistic support operations and the like, the hangar can be used for container storage, raising the total capacity, to 14 TEU. These spaces and the overhead crane can also be used to deploy anti-submarine warfare systems (towed array, torpedoes, etc.) or mine warfare systems (USV, AUV, ROV, etc.)

The superstructure combines a panoramic (360°) bridge, an integrated flight deck control station, living quarters, and operational areas, including the ops room with its six to eight consoles.

DefendSeas technical data

Displacement: 3,000 t

Dimensions (m): 90 x 15

Speed: 25 kts

Range: 6,000 nm at 12 kts

Accomodation: 70

Weapons: 4 x SSM – 12 x SAM (VLS) – 1 x 76 mm – 2 x 20 mm – 1 helicopters (10 t)

Electronic systems: 3D radar – hull and towed sonars

 

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