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Bâtiment Amphibie Multi-Mission (BA2M)
Multi-Mission Amphibious Vessel (BA2M)

If today large landing ships of this type are no longer on the agenda, the amphibious component of a navy is still considered an important vector of force, like the aircraft carrier group. From this point of view, France has comfortable capacities with the PCBs Mistral, Tonnerre and Dixmude. The White Book of 2008 said: "In addition, it will reinforce its means of naval deployment and of action Amphibious on the occasion of the renewal of the ships, by equipping itself with four projection and command vessels." But by 2017 these plans were not much in evidence.

The TCD Siroco capacity to carry vehicles were superior. It embarked almost a hundred vehicles of which about twenty were heavy tanks, against nearly sixty vehicles and thirteen AMX-Leclerc for the Mistral and its sister-ships, despite a tonnage that was lower by half. In comparison with a TCD, the TCD and BPC have the same capacity to carry troops (450 to 500 men), even if the Siroco is half less voluminous. The BPC aeronautical installations also appear to be somewhat oversized, in terms of the number of aircraft. If 3 BPCs were used to the maximum of their aeronautical capacities, they would monopolize more than a third of the NH-90 fleet and more than a quarter of the Tigre fleet.

Benoist Bihan, editor of the magazine Histoire et Stratégie, proposed a formation of 3 BPC and 3 TCD NG (New Generation) operating in binomial with the 3 conventional BPCs, making it possible to form 3 amphibious groups. This proposition is interesting because it gathers large amphibious units that support each other.

It is therefore clear that the "all LHD" force has not been adopted by any other European country. This is logical because the classic doctrine of amphibious warfare is to have a ship with a flat deck (aircraft carrier, LHA, or LHD) that is fit for use in aircraft or Combat helicopters. Its role is to support the disembarkation, being at the same time PC, hospital and fire support. Other ships (excluding escorts) are LPDs, LSDs or LSTs. They are the keystones of the operation, concentrating men and materiel.

The French structure thus appeared unbalanced. The specialized press is not mistaken: DSI recently pointed out that "LSD and LPD are essential complements to amphibious helicopter carriers, a lesson that many European navies neglect". The example in this matter is American, above a typical Marine Expeditionary Unit : an LHD class Wasp, a LSD class Harpers Ferry and an LPD class Austin.

Type LPD for NATO (tbc)
Country France
Designer DCNS - Brest / Saint-Nazaire STX
Displacement 18.000 tons
Length 170 meters / 550 feet
Width 32 m
Draft 7,5 m
Power 14MW
Max. 20 knots
Distance to be crossed 14,000 miles at 15 knots
Crew 200 men
Embarked, maximum 800 soldiers and 120 armored vehicles
Embarked air 2 to 4 helicopters stored in the hangar
  • 1 x CIWS type Millennium 35mm or RapidFire 40mmCT turret
  • 2 x TETRAL systems (4 x Mistral SATCP)
  • 2 x Narwhal 20 mm
  • Ship List (fictitious project)
    # Name
    Yard Laid
    Launch Comm Decomm Notes
    L9016 Robert Schuman 20
    L9017 Georges Clemenceau 20
    L9018 TBD 20

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    Page last modified: 05-04-2017 19:31:41 ZULU