First Force-replenishment Vessels for the French Navy on Sea Trials

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The Jacques Chevallier, the first of four force-replenishment vessels (BRF) of the “Logistics Fleet” (FlotLog) programme for the French Navy, has left its construction port of Saint-Nazaire to begin a new phase of sea trials before joining its future home port of Toulon.

After being laid down in December 2021, launched in April 2022 and the first flag-raising ceremony on 3 March 2023, the FAO Jacques Chevallier has taken a new step by leaving its shipyard port before its reception by the Organisation for Joint Armaments Cooperation (OCCAR), on behalf of the Directorate General of Armaments (DGA), and its delivery to the French Navy in the summer of 2023.

The conduct of the ship will now be entrusted to a crew of the French Navy. In the short term, the ship will sail to Toulon, its future home port, where it will arrive at the end of March. This sea trial campaign is dedicated to the sea refueling system (provided by Chantiers de l’Atlantique), and the combat and communication system (provided by Naval Group).

Construction of the second BRF, Jacques Stosskopf, will begin in Saint-Nazaire in about a year, for delivery in 2025.

Laurent Castaing, Managing Director of Chantiers de l’Atlantique said: “We are delighted with the excellent result obtained thanks to the good cooperation of our teams and those of our various partners. We will now continue this quality collaboration until the delivery of the vessel in July in Toulon.”

“The FlotLog program is a great story of cooperation between European partners but also between industrial partners. The ship’s departure for its home port is an important milestone for the DGA, the French Navy, Chantiers de l’Atlantique, Naval Group and all our industrial partners. We are proud to be part of this European program and remain fully committed to offering the DGA and the French Navy the best expertise in the civil and military sectors in the construction of large tonnage vessels,” said Olivier de la Bourdonnaye, Director of Surface Vessels at Naval Group.

As a reminder, the BRF Jacques Chevallier is the first of a series of four vessels intended for the French Navy, whose order was notified in January 2019 to the Groupement Momentané d’Entreprises formed by Chantiers de l’Atlantique and Naval Group. The FlotLog program is part of a Franco-Italian cooperation led by OCCAR on behalf of the DGA and its Italian counterpart NAVARM.

Through their alliance, Naval Group and Chantiers de l’Atlantique combine and multiply their skills in order to offer the best of each of the two companies in the construction of ships over 8,000 tons, at the service of the French Navy.

Equipped with a self-defence capability, the new BRF series is intended to replace the current tanker tankers, with increased capabilities and modern equipment in order to fully carry out the specific support missions of the carrier Charles de Gaulle, as well as any French or inter-allied naval action group.

Chantiers de l’Atlantique is responsible for the overall design and construction of the four vessels and is responsible for the integration and assembly of the on-board systems. Naval Group is responsible for designing, developing and integrating the ship’s military systems, including the combat system, the systems contributing to the capacity to accommodate aircraft and embark ammunition and the centralised control system of the platform’s facilities. The combat system of the four ships allows the ships to deploy autonomously to their area of operations, to provide protection against close threats and to lead the fight against asymmetric threats. – ng/mhi/mgm (Pix: Naval Group)