French Navy’s first replenishment vessel Jacques Chevallier launched
French defence company Naval Group launched the first of the four force replenishment vessels (BRF – Bâtiments Ravitailleurs de Force in French) of the French Navy’s FLOTLOG program.
The ceremony took place on 29 April in Saint-Nazaire. The vessel is the first of a series of four ships intended for the French Navy.
Laurent Castaing, General Manager, Chantiers de l’Atlantique said: “Our industrial facilities enabled us to assemble the 20 blocks of the BRF Jacques Chevallier’s hull in a record time of 50 days.“
The first sea trials for the ship will start in the second half of 2022, with the delivery of the first unit scheduled for the first half of 2023. The four vessels will be delivered successively until 2029.
The FlotLog program is part of Franco-Italian cooperation led by OCCAR on behalf of the French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA) and its Italian counterpart NAVARM, within the logistic support ship (LSS) program.
The contract was awarded in January 2019 to Chantiers de l’Atlantique and Naval Group. Chantiers de l’Atlantique carries out the global design and the construction of the four ships, and ensures the integration and the implementation of the embedded systems.
On the other hand, Naval Group is responsible for the design, development and integration of the combat system and the systems destined to receive aircraft and embark ammunition.
The BRFs, which will replace the French Navy’s Durance-class ships, have a mission of logistical support of the combat vessels of the French Navy deployed as part of the naval air group or naval task groups. With a capacity of 13,000 cbm, they carry fuel, ammunition, spare parts, as well as food for the vessels. These tankers will also participate to support missions for inter-allied operations, underlining the need for interoperable equipment.
This new series of logistics fleet is equipped with self-defence capacities. The combat system of the four ships, whose architecture is based on Naval Group’s combat management system, is expected to ensure the protection against close threats and the fight against asymmetric surface and air threats.
In line with international standards, the BRFs will replace the current tankers with increased capabilities and modern equipment in order to support the aviation group constituted around the aircraft carrier, according to Naval Group.
Jacques Chevallier, named after the naval engineer and father of French nuclear propulsion, will carry up to 31,000 tons at full load, making it the second heaviest ship in the French Navy, after the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle. It will be based in Toulon.
Main Characteristics of the vessels:
- Overall length: 194 meters
- Overall width: 27.60 meters
- Crew capacity: 190 people, including 130 crew members and 60 passengers
- Total deadweight: 14,870 tons.
Meanwhile, the steel cutting of the bow section for the second-in-class ship took place in February this year.