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Chantiers de l'Atlantique launches first logistic support ship for French Navy

Jacques Chevallier , the first of four logistic support vessels on order for the French Navy under its FLOTLOG programme, was launched in Saint-Nazaire on 29 April. (Naval Group)

Chantiers de l'Atlantique launched the French Navy's first new batiments ravitailleurs de forces (BRF) logistic support ship (LSS), Jacques Chevallier (A 725), at its shipyard in Saint-Nazaire on 29 April.

The French Navy has ordered four BRFs under a EUR1.7 billion (USD1.94 billion) contract awarded to a consortium comprising Chantiers de l'Atlantique and Naval Group by the Organisation for Joint Armament Co-operation (OCCAR) on behalf of French procurement agency DGA and its Italian counterpart NAVARM in January 2019.

Chantiers de l'Atlantique is building the aft sections of the four ships at its yard in Saint-Nazaire and is responsible for the overall production and outfitting of the ships, while Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri has been subcontracted to build the forward sections of the ships in Italy. Naval Group is responsible for the design, development, and integration of the combat system, which is centred around its Polaris combat management system.

The BRFs are being procured by the French Navy under the Franco-Italian OCCAR-led LSS programme to meet its Flotte Logistique (FLOTLOG) requirement, which calls for a new double-hulled, regulatory-compliant vessel to replace the service's legacy single-hulled Durance-class replenishment ships. The design is based on the Italian Navy's Vulcano class but tailored to meet the French Navy's requirements to support a maritime task group centred around aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle.

Jacques Chevallier will start initial sea trials in the second half of 2022, and is scheduled for delivery in the first half of 2023. Meanwhile, a steel cutting ceremony for second-in-class Jacques Stosskopf

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