Florence Parly, Minister for the Armed Forces, on Monday May 18 launched the construction phase of the first of the four naval logistical ships (BRF) of the "Fleet Logistics " (FLOTLOG) program (FLOTLOG). These ships are scheduled for delivery to the French Navy respectively in 2022, 2025, 2027 and 2029.
The Minister of the Armed Forces presided over the ceremony marking the first metal cut for the BRF first-of-class, and she announced the names of the four vessels, chosen to honor four maritime engineers.
This visit therefore officially launched the construction phase of the BRF Jacques Chevallier, named after one of the founding fathers of naval nuclear propulsion in France, and former general delegate for armaments from 1987 to 1989. The next three BRFs will be named Jacques Stosskopf, Emile Bertin and Gustave Zédé. Their construction will also take place on the Atlantic shipyard site in Saint-Nazaire. The fore sections of the four ships will be manufactured at the Fincantieri yard in Castellammare di Stabia located near Naples.
The Chantiers de l'Atlantique is the only shipyard in France with industrial infrastructure suitable for the construction of large ships such as the BRF, allowing design work in continuous flow thanks to the use of engineering tools and integrated production, as well as rapid production favoring production in pre-equipped blocks as far upstream as possible of the ship's assembly phase.
The future BRFs are derived from the Italian Navy’s “Vulcano” Logistic Support Ship (LSS). The implementation contract has been awarded by the Joint Armaments Cooperation Organization (OCCAr), acting on behalf of the Directorate General of Armaments (DGA) and its Italian counterpart NAVARM, to the temporary consortium of company (GME) made up of Chantiers de l'Atlantique and Naval Group on January 30, 2019.
As the Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly said, the BRF "program is the story of successful European cooperation with Italy. It is the result of a successful cooperation between Chantiers de l'Atlantique, Naval Group and Fincantieri. This is further proof that we can act together, optimize our efforts, while reducing costs. […] I would like to thank from the bottom of my heart all the teams of the Directorate General of Armaments (DGA) and OCCAR who lead this program and who made it possible to keep to the schedule. "
This milestone also symbolizes industrial recovery in the context of the health crisis caused by the Covid-19 epidemic. As such, the efforts of the GME, the DGA and the OCCAr to ensure the continuity of the program made it possible to respect the date initially planned for this milestone, despite the restrictions and limitations linked to the current health crisis.
Characteristics of a BRF-class Fleet Supply Vessel:
-- Displacement at full load: 31,000 tonnes
-- Overall length: 194 m
-- Overall width: 27.60 m
-- Accommodation: 130 crew members and 60 passengers
-- Fuel capacity: 13,000 m3
-- Total installed power: 24 MW
The FLOTLOG program aims to replace the supply vessels of the French Navy currently in service, taking into account present environmental standards, and in particular a double hull for the transport of petroleum products.
The program involves the construction of four new force supply vessels, which will provide long-term support for vessels deployed on the high seas (aircraft carriers, amphibious helicopter carriers, frigates), by supplying them with fuels, ammunition, parts of spares and food.