La Fayette Class Frigate
The La Fayette class (also known as FL-3000 for “Frégate Légère de 3,000 tonnes“, or FLF for Frégate Légère Furtive) is a class of general purpose frigates built by DCNS and operated by the French Navy.
Derivatives of the type are in service in the navies of Saudi Arabia, Singapore and Taiwan.
La Fayette Class Frigate were originally known as “stealth frigates” due to their unique stealth design at the time. Their reduced radar cross section is achieved by a clean superstructure compared to conventional designs, angled sides and radar absorbent material, a composite material of wood and glass fibre as hard as steel, light, and resistant to fire. Most modern combat ships built 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.
La Fayette Class Frigates are designed to accommodate a 10-tonne (9.8-long-ton) 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 missiles AM39 or AS15, and they can be launched during sea state five or six 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.
General purpose frigate
·3,200 t (3,100 long tons)
·3,800 t (3,700 long tons) fully loaded
125 m (410 ft 1 in)
15.4 m (50 ft 6 in)
4.1 m (13 ft 5 in)