According to information released by the Indian Ministry of Defense on November 3, 2022, the French Navy ship Aconit, one of the five La Fayette class frigates of the French Navy, was on a goodwill visit to Mumbai from 28 October to November 02, 2022.
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French La Fayette Aconit class frigate (Image source: Indian Navy)

The ship’s crew had professional and social interactions with Indian Navy personnel. The visit ended with an exercise at sea with an IN Western Fleet warship. The frigate previously visited Visakhapatnam in 2015.

Over the decades, cooperation between India and France has grown exponentially in various defence-related fields. FNS Aconit’s current visit to Mumbai is a reflection of the growing cooperation between the two navies and their enhanced interoperability. With peace and stability in the region being in the common interest, both navies are committed to working together to achieve this goal.

About the frigate Aconit

The Aconit is a multipurpose stealth frigate of the French Navy. Initially named Jauréguiberry, it is now the fourth French ship named after the FNFL corvette Aconit.

The ships were originally known as “stealth frigates” due to their unique stealth design at the time. Their reduced radar section is achieved by a clean superstructure compared to conventional designs, sloping sides and radar-absorbing material, a wood and fiberglass composite material as hard as steel, lightweight and fire resistant. Most modern combat ships built since the introduction of the La Fayette class have followed the same principles of stealth.

The ships are designed to accommodate a 10-ton (9.8-ton long) helicopter from the Panther or NH90 range (although they are also capable of operating the Super Frelon and similar heavy helicopters).

These helicopters can carry AM39 or AS15 anti-ship missiles, and they can be launched during sea state five or six thanks to the Samahé helicopter handling system. France ordered five La Fayette-class ships in 1988, the last of which entered service in 2001.