French Navy's frigate La Fayette completes her midlife modernization

According to a tweet published by the French Navy on November 28, 2022, the La Fayette-class frigate La Fayette has completed her mid-life upgrade and is now fully operational.
Follow Navy Recognition on Google News at this link

Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 French Navy's La Fayette class frigate La Fayette. (Picture source: French MoD)

La Fayette is a general-purpose stealth frigate of the French Navy (Marine Nationale). She was launched on June 13, 1992, and commissioned on March 22, 1996.

La Fayette began a major life extension upgrade in October 2021. The upgrade is designed to permit the frigate to operate through the 2020s and into the 2030s

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 in the 1980s/90s and still operated by the French Navy today. Derivatives of the type are in service in the navies of Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and Taiwan.

The ships 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.

The ships 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 2001. In the French Navy, they will be incrementally superseded in "first-rank" functions by five frégates de taille intermédiaire (FTI, "intermediate size frigates") from 2024.