Fincantieri Begins Construction of Forward Sections of French Navy BRF Logistic Support Ships

Italian shipbuilder, Fincantieri has begun the construction of the first of four forward sections for the French Navy BRF Logistic Support Ship (LSS) program.

The steel cutting ceremony for the first forward section was held at Fincantieri’s Castellammare di Stabia shipyard on June 18.

This particular milestone represents the concrete entry into production of the 1st LSS named “Jacques Chevallier”, with the bow section scheduled to be delivered in Saint-Nazaire in France by June 2021 for final assembly. The ship is expected to be delivered to the French Navy in December 2022. The deliveries of the four sections are scheduled between 2021 and 2027.

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© Fincantieri

The four new-generation replenishment vessels are 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.

French Navy Logistic Support Ship (LSS)
Rendering of the French Navy Logistic Support Ship (LSS) being built under the FLOTLOG (Flotte Logistique) program.

The FLOTLOG program is executed by a temporary consortium between French shipbuilders Chantiers de l’Atlantique and Naval Group. The procurement of the 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 BRF vessels is based on the Italian Navy’s LSS Vulcano, constructed by Fincantieri. This vessel is currently undergoing sea trials.

LSS Vulcano (A5335)
LSS Vulcano (A5335)

Chantiers de l’Atlantique is in charge of the design and construction of the BRF 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. CdA and Naval Group agreed to outsource the construction of the forward sections of the four French Navy vessels to Fincantieri.

The construction of the first vessel started on May 18 with a steel cutting ceremony at Chantiers de l’Atlantique’s facility in Saint-Nazaire, France.

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



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