Chantiers de l’Atlantique has begun the construction of the first Logistic Support Ship (LSS) for the French Navy with a steel cutting ceremony at its facility in Saint-Nazaire on May 18.
The ceremony was attended by the Minister for the Armed Forces Florence Parly.
Ce jour est important pour nos armées, pour la Marine nationale et pour notre industrie de défense. Nos trois pétroliers ravitailleurs actuels seront remplacés par quatre bâtiments à double coque pour protéger les océans de tout incident pétrolier. pic.twitter.com/V09CoP9LqK
— Florence Parly (@florence_parly) May 18, 2020
The vessel is the first of four new-generation replenishment vessels being constructed for the French Navy under its FLOTLOG (Flotte Logistique, “logistics fleet”) program. The vessels will be called as BRF (Bâtiment ravitailleur de forces, “force supply vessels”) in French service.
The Chief of Staff of the French Navy Admiral Christophe Prazuck has announced that the vessels will be named after marine engineers.
Admiral Prazuck added that the first vessel will be named after Jacques Chevallier (1921-2009), considered as the father of French nuclear propulsion. Chevallier is famous for his involvement in the design and production of the nuclear reactor onboard the Navy’s first-generation Redoutable-class nuclear ballistic missile submarines (SNLE, SSBN) and the land-based prototype at Cadarache.
Père de la propulsion nucléaire française, ingénieur du génie maritime, Jacques Chevallier (1921-2009) est notamment à l’origine du réacteur des SNLE du type Le Redoutable et du « prototype à terre » de Cadarache. Le premier BRF, bâtiment ravitailleur de force, portera son nom. pic.twitter.com/kGXGybbGHa
— Chef d’état-major de la Marine (@amiralPrazuck) May 18, 2020
The procurement of four vessels was executed as part of the Franco-Italian LSS Program led by the Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR) on behalf of the French defense procurement agency DGA and of its Italian counterpart NAVARM. The design of the vessels is based on the Italian Navy’s LSS Vulcano, constructed by Italy’s Fincantieri, which is currently undergoing sea trials.
The construction of the French vessels will be conducted by a temporary consortium formed by Chantiers de l’Atlantique and Naval Group
Chantiers de l’Atlantique is in charge of the design and construction of the ships. Naval Group is responsible for the design, supply and integration of the combat and military systems (aviation, ammunition). The company is also responsible for certain functions such as cybersecurity, electromagnetic compatibility, etc.
The BRF vessels, with a fuel capacity of 13,000 m3, have the mission to provide logistical support to the French and allied navies’ combat vessels. They will carry fuel for vessels, jet fuel for aircraft, weapons and ammunition, spare parts, as well as food. The ships will also be equipped with waste management solutions and repair workshops.
Their characteristics will adapt as well to their specific missions in support to the aviation group constituted around the French Navy’s sole aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle.
Main characteristics of the vessel:
+ Gross tonnage: 28,700 GRT
+ Overall length: 194 m
+ Overall width: 27.40 m
+ Crew capacity: 190 people (of which 130-people strong crew)
+ Total deadweight: 14,870 tonnes
+ Freight volume: 13,000 m3
+ Total installed capacity: 24 MW
+ Artillery: 40 mm guns
+ Polaris Combat Management System