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Fincantieri cuts steel for second French fleet replenishment tanker

Fincantieri held a steel-cutting ceremony for the French Navy's second fleet replenishment tanker, Jacques Stosskopf, on 1 February. (Fincantieri)

Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri held a steel-cutting ceremony for the bow section of the French Navy's second batiments ravitailleurs de forces (BRF) fleet replenishment tanker, Jacques Stosskopf, at its Castellammare di Stabia shipyard, near Naples, on 1 February.

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.

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

The BRFs are being procured by the French Navy under the Franco-Italian OCCAR-led Logistic Support Ship (LSS) programme to meet its Flotte Logistique (FLOTLOG) requirement for a new multirole vessel to replace its single-hull Durance-class vessels. The design is based on the Italian Navy's Vulcano class but modified to meet the French Navy's requirements for support for a carrier-based task group.

First-in-class Jacques Chevallier (A 725) is in the final assembly hall at Chantiers de l'Atlantique's Saint-Nazaire shipyard and is set to be delivered later in 2022, while Jacques Stosskopf is scheduled to be delivered in 2025. Under current planning the remaining two ships, Emile Bertin (A 727) and Gustave Zédé (A 728), are scheduled to be delivered in 2027 and 2029, respectively.

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