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Marine Nationale
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(“Honour, Homeland, Valour, Discipline”)
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The French Navy is undertaking a significant reinforcement, both in modernising and in number, under the Projet de loi de programmation militaire 2003–2008 ("Military programme law project 2003–2008"),[1] which notably includes:

  • Two Horizon class destroyers; both have been launched, one undertaking trials, and the other is being armed; the third one was canceled in 2007.[2][3]
  • 11 FREMM multipurpose frigates – Eight ships have been ordered as part of the 2003–08 defence programming law and a further three are planned to be ordered. Two ships optimised for anti-aircraft warfare are being considered. Construction of the first ship in this class began in 2007 and she is scheduled to be commissioned in 2012.[4]
  • Six nuclear attack submarines of the Barracuda class. The contract for the first three of these submarines was signed in 2006. The construction of the first boat in the class also began in 2006 and she is scheduled to be commissioned in 2017. The additional boats in the class will be built at the rate of one every 24 months, with the sixth submarine entering service in 2027.[5]

The equipment will also be modernised, notably

  • New models of the successful Exocet missile
  • Aster and SYLVER systems for anti-missile/anti-air defence
  • Cruise missiles (the naval or submarine SCALP EG)


  1. (French) Projet de loi programmation militaire pour les années 2003 à 2008. Retrieved on March 23, 2008.
  2. (French) Marine: Lancement des études pour une FREMM antiaérienne. Retrieved on March 23, 2008.
  3. Saunders (2007), pg 240.
  4. Saunders (2007), pg 245.
  5. Saunders (2007), pg 232.


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