The Organisation for Joint Armament Co-operation (OCCAR), on behalf of French procurement agency DGA, has signed a EUR1.7 billion (USD1.9 billion) contract with Chantiers de l'Atlantique and Naval Group to supply four logistic support ships (LSS) for the French Navy.
The ships - otherwise known as Batiments Ravitailleurs de Force (BRFs) - are being procured as part of the Franco-Italian OCCAR-led LSS programme to meet the French Navy's national Flotte Logistique (FLOTLOG) requirement for four new multirole afloat support vessels to replace its single-hull Durance-class vessels.
The new double-hulled support vessels - fully compliant to the latest international legislation - will be based on the Italian Navy's Vulcano-class design, but modified to meet the French Navy's requirement for support of a carrier-based task group. Deliveries are planned to start in late 2022 and conclude in early 2029. The contract also includes a logistic support package for the ships' first six years of operational maintenance (including training, in-service support, and documentation).
All four FLOTLOG vessels will be built by Chantiers de l'Atlantique (ex-STX France) in Saint-Nazaire in partnership with Naval Group (the latter taking responsibility for the combat system). Fincantieri could also contribute to the programme by building hull sections in Italy, while Thales will supply the ships' communications suites.
Displacing 31,000 tonnes at full load, with a length of 194 m, and a beam of 27.4 m, the BRFs feature a 25 MW electrical propulsion system (based on four diesel generators with two electric motors on two shafts) providing for a maximum speed of 20 kt. The new ships will have a crew of 130, with accommodations for an additional 60. Endurance will be 60 days.
To perform its replenishment at sea (RAS) and logistic support missions for French and allied navy vessels, including the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier-based task force and aviation group, the LSS will be able to carry 13,000 m 3 of fuel and 1,500 tonnes of cargo.
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