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Tourville

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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