On July 04, 2019, the Directorate-General for Armaments (DGA) took delivery of the ‘Garonne,’ the fourth and final vessel in the Metropolitan Support and Assistance Vessels (BSAM) program, ordered from the Kership group of companies (Chantiers Piriou and Naval Group). This new Navy vessel will be based in Brest.
This new ship reinforces and modernizes the capabilities of the French Navy. An extremely versatile ship design, the BSAM is designed to carry out three types of missions: the support of naval forces (towing of large-tonnage ships; accompaniment and support of submarines; and training of the forces), maritime security (rescue at sea, assistance to ships in distress, fight against maritime pollution, etc.) and regional support activities (towing machinery, anchoring and maintenance of mooring boxes, lifting of wrecks ...).
The first BSAM, the ‘Loire,’ operates from Toulon and the second one in the series, ‘Rhone,’ operates from Brest. The third ship, the ‘Seine,’ which will be admitted to active service in July, after its long-term shakedown cruise that ran from March 25 to June 25, will be based in Toulon.