Home Europe French FDI frigates getting “world’s first” fixed panel IFF interrogator

French FDI frigates getting “world’s first” fixed panel IFF interrogator

FDI frigate design
Naval Group photo of an FDI frigate design

The French Navy’s new Frégate de Défense et d’Intervention (FDI) frigates will be the first to benefit from a new identification friend or foe (IFF) system that has been unveiled by defense contractor Thales.

As announced by the company, the TSA6000 interrogators comprise four fixed antenna panels to provide 360° coverage. The fully digital system has the benefit of being smaller, lighter and more efficient than a rotating antenna system, the company says.

The TSA6000 will equip the French Navy’s future FDI-class frigates from 2021 alongside the Sea Fire radar from Thales, which also has a flat-panel array. Delivery of the first ship in the class to the navy is scheduled to take place in 2023.

The four-panel IFF antenna design allows full 360° coverage, overcoming the problem of signal masking caused by a ship’s topside infrastructure, especially if it has multiple masts.

Thales is also delivering a compact version of the CAPTAS-4 towed-array sonar for the 122-meter frigate class that will carry Exocet anti-ship missiles and Aster 30 anti-air missiles.

Admiral Ronarc’h, the first of five FDI frigates that will be delivered by French shipbuilder Naval Group, began construction in October 2019.