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FREMM Normandie Frigate Sea Trials
The FREMM Normandie returned to port on Saturday 8 Mar 2014 on the DCNS site in Lorient, at the end of its third series of sea trials. This frigate is the second of the series ordered by the French DGA (General Directorate for Armament) for the French Navy. OCCAR (Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation) is the contracting agency for the FREMM program on behalf of France and Italy. Another series of trials for the FREMM Normandie, conducted off the Brittany coast and lasting one week was completed on 8 March. These trials over several days allowed the DCNS teams to pursue their verification of vessel platform performance as well as the performance of certain combat-system sensors. Two initial phases of frigate testing already took place in November 2012 and January 2013. With regard to the platform, the trials are focused on the propulsion system and, in particular, on the CODLOG (COmbined Diesel eLectric Or Gas) hybrid system. This propulsion system allows the FREMMs to advance silently at low speed -- thanks to the electric motors -- or reach speeds in excess of 27 knots (50 km/h) thanks to the vessel's gas turbine. In addition to these propulsion tests, the DCNS teams also verified the navigation systems (speed calculations, position, bearing) as well as the inertial units, which allow a very precise positioning of the vessel whatever its location on the oceans. These trials also allowed the French Navy crew and DCNS specialists to check the performance of the functions of certain combat-system sensors, as well as the Syracuse communication station.