La Fayette-class frigate

The La Fayette-class units (FL-3000 for "Frégate Légère de 3,000 tonnes", "3,000-tonnes light frigates", or "FLF" or Frégate Légère Furtive", "Light Stealth Frigate") are light multi-mission frigates built by DCNS and operated by French Marine Nationale. Derivatives of the type are in service in Saudi Arabia (Royal Saudi Navy), Singapore (Republic of Singapore Navy) and Taiwan (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 class 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 class has space available for the future installation of the Aster 15 air-defence missile, however they will not be installed due to recent cost issues. 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. France ordered five ships of the La Fayette class in 1988, the last of which entered service in 2002.

Country Name Origin Year
France 1996
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
China 1996 View
France 1996 View
Saudi Arabia 1996 View
Singapore 1996 View

Name: La Fayette
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)
Kang Ding class (Taiwan)
In commission: 22 March 1996
Completed: 20
Active: France: La Fayette (F710), Surcouf(F711), Courbet (F712), Aconit(F713), Guépratte (F714)
Saudi Arabia Al Riyadh, Makkah,Al Damman.
Taiwan: Kang Ding (FFG-1202), Si Ning (FFG-1203), Wu Chang (FFG-1205), Di Hua (FFG-1206), Kun Ming (FFG-1207), Chen De (FFG-1208)
Singapore: Formidable (68),Intrepid (69), Steadfast (70),Tenacious (71), Stalwart (72),Supreme (73)
General characteristics
Type: Frigate
Displacement: 3,200 tonnes, 3,600 tonnes fully loaded
Length: 125 m (410 ft)
Beam: 15.4 m (51 ft)
Draught: 4.1 m (13 ft)
Propulsion: 4 diesel SEMT Pielstick12PA6V280 STC2, 21000 hp (15 400 kW)
Speed: 25 kn (46 km/h; 29 mph)
Range: 4,000 nmi (7,400 km; 4,600 mi) at 15 kn (28 km/h; 17 mph), 9,000 nmi (17,000 km; 10,000 mi) at 12 kn (22 km/h; 14 mph)
Endurance: 50 days of food
Boats and landing
craft carried:
2× ETN boats
Capacity: 350 tonnes of fuel, 80 m³ of kerosene, 60 tonnes of potable water
Complement: 12 officers
68 petty officers
61 men
Sensors and
processing systems:
1× Air/Surface DRBV 15C sentry radar
1× firing control radar for the 100 mm gun
1× DRBN34 navigation radar
1× DRBN34 landing radar
1× Saïgon ARBG 1 radio interceptor
1× ARBR 21 radar interceptor
2× Dagaie Mk2 chaff launcher
1× AN/SLQ-25 Nixie tugged noise maker
1× Prairie-Masker noise reduction system
1× Syracuse II
1× Inmarsat
Armament: Anti-ship;
8 × Exocet MM40 block II anti-ship missiles
1 × 100 mm TR automatic gun
2 × 20 mm modèle F2 guns
1 × Crotale CN2 CIWS
Armour: On sensitive areas (munition magazine and control centre)
Aircraft carried: 1 × helicopter (Panther or NH90)

End notes