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Egypt buys Normandie, the landed crew of Provence. Explanation

The crew of the Normandie during the FREMM Normandie launch in Lorient with Pierre Moscovici (left) then Minister of Economy and Finance and the Minister of Defense, JY Le Drian (in the middle) © Navy National P. Dagois)(B2) When Egypt buys, it's quick. And she wants express delivery. To enable the FREMM frigate provided for in the mega-contract signed with Cairo to be delivered as quickly as possible, it was necessary to innovate. And the navy turns all its plans upside down…

Quick to wrap up

This sale operation was materialized in a very short period of time, not compatible with the usual procedures and the start of construction of a new building » we confirm to the Ministry of Defense. The only solution to ensure delivery on time therefore consisted of delivering to Egypt… one of the FREMMs initially intended for the French Navy, currently in armament in Lorient and owned by DCNS: the frigate Normandy. Which is not without cascading consequences in the navy. Because the ship, with its crew, is about to finalize its sea trial period.

A domino effect

In fact, as soon as the contract was signed, the current crew of the Normandy will simply be transferred to Provence. The ship will become more Breton than Provençal since its home port will now be in... Brest, the “ to ensure the increase in power of anti-submarine warfare capabilities on the Atlantic coast ". As for the current crew of the Provence, it is disembarked and will pass on the Languedoc currently at the end of construction to complete the armament. The arrival of the FREMM frigates in the forces will thus be delayed by several months. Anti-submarine frigates (FASM) Montcalm et John of Vienna, will play extra time: one more year! The dates of withdrawal from active service are thus postponed respectively to 2017 and 2018.


Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).