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French frigate Forbin (D620)
Frigate Forbin
Career (France)
Name: Forbin
Namesake: Claude Forbin-Gardanne
Ordered: 27 October 2000
Builder: DCNS and Thales Group, Lorient shipyard
Cost: USD$770 million[1]
Laid down: 16 January 2004
Launched: 10 March 2005
Commissioned: 2008
In service: 14 October 2010
Homeport: Toulon
Status: in active service, as of 2013
General characteristics
Class & type: Horizon-class frigate
Displacement: 7,050 tonnes [2]
Length: 152.87 m (501 ft 7 in)
Beam: 20.3 m (66 ft 7 in)
Draught: 5.4 m (17 ft 9 in)
  • 2 × 31,280 hp (23.3 MW) GE/Avio LM2500 gas turbines
  • 2 × 5,875 hp (4.4 MW) SEMT Pielstick 12 PA6 STC diesels
  • 1 × beam propeller
  • 2 × 4-blade propellers
Speed: 29 knots (54 km/h; 33 mph)
18 knots (33 km/h; 21 mph) on diesels
Range: 7,000 nmi (13,000 km; 8,100 mi) at 18 kn (33 km/h; 21 mph)
3,500 nmi (6,500 km; 4,000 mi) at 25 kn (46 km/h; 29 mph)
Boats & landing
craft carried:
EDO, 20-seat EFRC, Hurricane 733
Capacity: 32 passengers or admiral's staff
Complement: 26 officers
110 petty officers
38 sailors
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • S-1850 LRR tri-dimensional sentry radar with IFF
  • ABF TUS 4110 CL hull sonar
  • Towed linear antenna with Alto torpedo detector
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
  • Radar jammer
  • Communication jammer
  • NGDS system (2 decoy launchers, REM, RIR, LAD)
  • Contralto system (2 acoustic decoy launchers)
  • PAAMS EMPAR multifunction radar on G band
Aircraft carried: 1 × NH90 helicopter

Forbin is a large anti-air destroyer of the French Navy, lead ship of the Horizon class. Her first task is protecting aircraft carriers, capital ships or civilian ships from supersonic missile attacks; her complement of medium-range anti-air missiles allows her to support the defences of another ship under attack and avoid their saturation. She is also capable of monitoring and controlling operations carried out from the sea by friendly aircraft.[4] Forbin is the sixth vessel of the French Navy named after the 17th century admiral Claude Forbin-Gardanne.


Building and fitting out

Construction of Forbin began in Lorient on 8 April 2002. The hull was built in 14 sections by a variety of subcontractors of DCN, including several companies from Saint-Nazaire. Each section was 7 metres high, and 16 to 20 metres long. Forbin was laid down on 16 January 2004; the hull sections were transferred from Saint-Nazaire to Lorient on a barge tugged by Alcyon and assembled there from February 2004 to January 2005, finishing with the bow. The engines were delivered by FiatAvio in September.

Forbin was launched on 10 March 2005, after part of the Scorff river was dredged to make it deep enough for her draught. She was towed out of her building dock by four tugboats at 16:15, taking advantage of the tide. On 28 October, Forbin entered dry dock and underwater equipment was installed, notably the sonar, propellers and rudders.

Trials were held throughout 2006. Engine tests started on 10 May, and she sailed for sea trials on 29 June. Tuning of the combat management systems was particularly problematic, setting the completion of the ship off-schedule enough for her commissioning to be delayed by several months. In late January 2007, Forbin underwent new extensive trials at sea, successfully testing her combat systems in exercises against Super Étendard and Atlantique 2 aircraft. The PAAMS was tested in late May at the Centre d'Essais des Landes. From 12 to 17, Forbin sailed to Toulon, her new home port, where her combat, detection and weapon systems were further finetuned. Forbin fired an Aster 30 at the test range of the DGA on 25 November.

First cruise

Forbin left Toulon on 3 March 2009 for her first long cruise, visiting Morocco, the United States and Canada. She carried a Panther from Squadron 36F of the Aéronavale to validate her air installations. Forbin sailed to Casablanca, and then to Rio de Janeiro. She left Brazil on 30 March, bound for Martinique, where she arrived on 21 April.[5] and sailed on to Norfolk and New York, arriving on 24 April. During the transit, she carried out exercises with USS Forrest Sherman.[6] A visit to Halifax was cancelled. Forbin was back to France in May, where she took part in the naval parade of 8 May off Sainte-Maxime. On 25 May, she was at Abu Dhabi. In June, Forbin operated with the Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) carrier group, supporting "Operation Enduring Freedom" and maritime security operations.

Second cruise

The frigate Forbin was part of the French naval task group led by the Charles de Gaulle that departed Toulon on 30 October 2010 for a four-month deployment to the Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea, Indian Ocean. and Persian Gulf.[7][8] The task group commander, Rear Admiral Jean-Louis Kerignard, defined force's mission as follows:

The force would help allied navies fight piracy off the coast of Somalia and send jets to support NATO in the skies above Afghanistan.[9]

Once on station, the Charles de Gaulle carrier task group joined two U.S. Navy carrier strike groups led by the Nimitz class aircraft carriers Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) and Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) operating in the Persian Gulf.[9] Subsequently, between 7–14 January 2011, the French carrier task group led by the Charles de Gaulle participated with bilateral naval exercise, code named Varuna 10, with the Indian Navy. Indian naval units participating in Varuna 10 included the Centaur-class aircraft carrier Viraat, the Godavari-class frigates Godavari and Ganga; and the Shishumar class diesel-electric submarine Shalki. Varuna 10 was a two-phase naval exercise, with the harbor phase taking place between 7–11 January and the sea phase between 11–14 January in the Arabian Sea.[8]


See also


  1. "Horizon". 2013. Retrieved 27 March 2013. 
  2. "Project Horizon / Common New Generation Frigate (CNGF)". 2013. Retrieved 27 March 2013. 
  3. "Caractéristiques Frégate Horizon Forbin". 2013. Retrieved 27 March 2013.  (French)
  4. "Forbin (D 620)". French Ministry of Defence. 2013. Retrieved 27 March 2013.  (French)
  5. "FDA Forbin - Journaux de bord". Marine Nationale. 2013. Retrieved 27 March 2013.  (French)
  6. Cole, Adam R. (25 April 2009). "Forrest Sherman Teams with French Ship for PASSEX". Retrieved 27 March 2013. 
  7. "Fifth Deployment for French Charles de Gaulle Aircraft Carrier". Defense Professional. November 3, 2010. Retrieved 2010-11-12. 
  8. 8.0 8.1 Vivek Ragahuvanshi (January 6, 2011). "Indo-French Naval Exercises Set To Start". DefenseNews. Retrieved 2011-01-10. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 "French warship to join US fleet in PG". France. PressTV. October 28, 2010. Retrieved 2010-11-12. 

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