Still rated as 'anti submarine frigates' the 'Tourville' class are large enough for destroyers, let alone frigates. In fact they have carried 'D' pennants since their commissioning in the mid-1970s. Shipping a powerful anti-surface and anti-submarine armament, the three 'Tourville' class ships are very capable warships, all currently serving with the French Atlantic squadron. These ships also got refits in the mid-1990s, which will extend their service lives into the first decade of the next century. Towed arrays, OTO-Melara Matra anti-submarine missiles and Murene torpedoes were also added in the refits.
French Tourville Class destroyer of 4580 tons displacement, launched in 1972. She is manned by a crew of 301 including 21 officers. Two Rateau geared steam turbines provide a top speed of 32 knots and a range of 8000 km at 18 knots. Armaments consist of six Aerospatiale MM 38 Exocet anti-ship missiles; a Thomson- CSF Crotale Navale EDIR octuple anti-aircraft missile launcher; a Latecoere Malafon acoustic homing torpedo missile launcher; two DCN 100 mm/55 Mod 68 CADAM automatic dual-purpose guns; two Oerlikon 20 mm guns; two torpedo launchers taking the ECAN L5 anti- submarine torpedo; and two WG 13 Lynx anti-submarine warfare helicopters.
The TOURVILLE DDG has a dual-sectioned upper superstructure, a collocated mast-stack and a hangar for two helicopters with landing pad. Between the forward and after superstructures on the upper deck is a MAIAFON ASW missile launcxher. In 1979-81, all ships of the TOURVILLE-Class were re-equipped, and the NAVAL CORTALE anti-air missile system was installed, including an 8- missile launcher system, AA missiles, fire control radar, TV camera and Infrared systems to determine displacement angle.
Initial planning considered construction of a large number of the TOURVILLE-class ships. However, due to complex construction and high construction costs, only three ships were built and then they shifted to a project of a more simplified DDG, the GEORGES LEYGUES-Class, which reflected modern views of the French Naval staff on the appearance of a DDG which would become the basis of their service fleet to the end of the century.
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