French Navy’s B2M ship heads for overseas base

French Navy’s d’Entrecasteaux, the first of four B2M multi-mission ships, on May 11 sailed from Brest, France to join her new homeport in Noumea, New Caledonia.

The ship will now go through a period of at-sea trial before it is commissioned into active duty

Once she arrives in Noumea in late July, the B2M D’Entrecasteaux will be in charge of the surveillance and protection of French interests in the exclusive economic zone around New Caledonia which covers an area of over 1.6 million square kilometers.

Three ships are, with an option for a fourth unit, are built under a contract signed in 2014 between the French Navy and Kership, a joint venture between DCNS and Piriou.

Piriouis is responsible for the design and the construction of the ships while DCNS is in charge of military aspects of the design studies and the supply of onboard communications systems (SITIP), and will be responsible for in-service support (ISS) of each ship for up to 6 years.

According to Piriou, the vessels carry a work boat about 8 meters long and semi-rigid boats, and have a crane for the loading and unloading of containers. Each ship will be operated by two crews consisting of 23 sailors each.

d’Entrecasteaux was delivered to the French Navy on March 25, 2016.