Naval Group completes modernization of La Fayette-class frigates

By Defence Industry Europe

At the end of 2023, Naval Group successfully completed modernization programme for the French Navy's La Fayette-class frigates, with the Aconit being the last of three ships to undergo refurbishment. This six-month project culminated in a series of dockside and sea trials, enhancing the frigates' anti-submarine warfare capabilities and extending their operational life by five years.


The modernisation, contracted by the French General Armament Directorate (DGA) in 2017, targeted the Courbet, La Fayette, and Aconit frigates. Upgrades addressed obsolescence, improved several systems, and added new features. Notably, the frigates’ combat management system was replaced with the SENIT system developed by Naval Group, and their anti-air defence capabilities were upgraded from the Crotale to two Sadral systems equipped with Mistral missiles. Additionally, the introduction of a hull sonar endowed the frigates with anti-submarine warfare capabilities.


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Post-upgrade sea trials validated the ships’ maneuverability, despite increased displacement from the added sonar dome, and confirmed the successful integration of new systems, maintaining acoustic discretion and achieving maximum speed targets.


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This project underscores Naval Group’s comprehensive expertise in naval fleet modernization, supporting navies worldwide with a workforce of over 5,000 employees skilled in ship design, maintenance, and modernization. Naval Group’s capability to manage complex programmes and maintain a diverse range of naval vessels showcases its position as a leader in the naval defence industry, with partnerships extending to more than 50 navies globally.



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