Naval Group Finishes French Frigate Aconit Modernization

French shipbuilder Naval Group has completed the modernization of the French frigate Aconit (F713) following dockside and sea trials.

The stealth frigate has new anti-submarine warfare capabilities, extending its service to the French Navy for five more years. The trials have also proven its stable maneuverability and speed targets, despite “several tonnes” of increased displacement.

The F713 was also fitted with an updated combat management system, optronic surveillance capabilities, and hull sonar.

Its old anti-air defense equipment was replaced with two Sadral systems fitted with Mistral very short-range ground-to-air-missiles, bolstering its defenses against airborne threats.

The warship is the third and final La Fayette-class frigate to receive the refurbishments, following a 2017 deal that sought to solve the ships’ obsolescence issues.

Moving in Stealth

First commissioned in 1996, the La Fayette-class frigates are general-purpose ships built with stealth-focused features, utilizing their 60 percent reduced radar cross-section to effectively camouflage among smaller civilian ships.

Other naval forces have integrated the ships into their forces, including the Saudi Arabian, Taiwanese, and Singaporean navies, the last of which also ordered midlife upgrades in December 2023.

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