The La Fayette class units are light multi-mission frigates built by DCN and operated by France (Marine Nationale). Derivatives of the type are in service in Saudi Arabia (Royal Saudi Navy), Singapore (Republic of Singapore Navy) and the Republic of China (Republic of China Navy).
These frigates were referred to as "stealth" frigates. Their reduced radar cross section is achieved by a very clean superstructure compared to conventional designs, angled sides and radar absorbent material, a composite material of wood and glass fiber as hard as steel, light, and resistant to fire. Most modern fighting ships built around the world since the introduction of the La Fayette have followed the same principles of stealth.
All information gathered by the onboard sensors is managed by the Information Processing System, the electronic brain of the operation centre of the ship. It is completed by an electronic command aid system.
The La Fayette has space available for the future installation of the Aster 15 missile, the state-of-the-art anti-air European weapon, and currently carries the Crotale short-range defence system, and Exocet missile, mounted in two quad launchers.
The ships are designed to accommodate a 10 tonne helicopter in the Panther or NH90 range (though they are also capable of operating the Super Frelon and similar heavy helicopters). These helicopters can carry anti-ship AM39 or AS15 missiles, and can be launched during sea state 5 or 6 due to the Samahé helicopter handling system.
|Operators:|| French Navy |
Royal Saudi Navy
Republic of China Navy
Republic of Singapore Navy
|Preceded by:||Floréal class frigate|
|Subclasses:||Al Riyadh class (Saudi Arabia) |
Formidable class (Singapore)
|In commission:||22 March 1996|
|Active:||France: La Fayette (F710), Surcouf (F711), Courbet (F712), Aconit (F713), Guépratte (F714) |
Saudi Arabia Al Riyadh, Makkah, Al Damman.
|Displacement:||3,200 tonnes, 3,600 tonnes fully loaded|
|Length:||125 m (410.1 ft)|
|Draught:||4.1 m (13.45 ft)|
|Propulsion:||4 diesel SEMT Pielstick 12PA6V280 STC2, 21000 hp (15 400 kW)|
|Speed:||25 knots (46 km/h)|
|Range:||4,000 nautical miles (7,000 km) at 15 knots (28 km/h), 9000 at 12 knots (22 km/h)|
|Endurance:||50 days of food|
|Boats and landing |
|2× ETN boats|
|Capacity:||350 tonnes of fuel, 80 m³ of kerosene, 60 tonnes of potable water|
|Sensors and |
1× Air/Surface DRBV 15C sentry radar
1× 100 mm TR automatic gun
|Armour:||On sensitive areas (munition magazine and control centre)|
|Aircraft carried:||1× 10 tonne helicopter (Panther or NH90)|