Jacques Chevallier - Flotte logistique FLOTLOG
bâtiments ravitailleurs de force
The French military programming law 2019-2025 provides for a target of four logistic support ships ("Flotte logistique,” or FLOTLOG) ships, two of which will be delivered by 2025. The FLOTLOG program aims to replace the current single-hulled tankers of the French Navy, which entered service in the 1970s and 1980s, with modern vessels with double hulls, in accordance with the best international standards. They will support long-range ships deployed on the high seas (aircraft carriers, projection and command buildings, frigates) by supplying them with fuel, ammunition, spare parts and food.
In 2012, the Naval Group (formerly DCNS) was commissioned by the Directorate General for Armaments to study the renewal of BCRs through an upstream research contract of € 10 million. At the time, the French shipbuilder had already in his cartons a concept, called BRAVE (Wing Buoyancy Building). The idea was to build a ship that could carry up to 16,000 m3 of liquids, with a rear area that could be changed depending on the mission and a command post that could accommodate a staff. Two helicopters had to complete the armament of this new type of ship.
The Logistic Fleet Program is intended to replace existing tanker tankers to ensure the autonomy of a carrier and naval task force deployed simultaneously in a single theater away from our main points of support, in accordance with the 2013 White Paper on Defense and National Security's operational contract. The logistics fleet also participates in the supply of deployed Allied maritime forces and can contribute to the logistical support of air-land forces in operations, in addition to other means.
The scope of the logistics fleet operation as of 2016 included ship design, studies and development work, the construction of three solid and liquid logistics transport vessels (fuels, ammunition, food); and the associated support systems The logistics fleet to replace the existing multipurpose supply tankers and other support vessels was to consist of 3 units.
In April 2017, when Fincantieri had obtained an agreement to take over the shipyard STX France in Saint-Nazaire, the Italian Ministry of Defense affirmed that his French counterpart had just "formally requested to cooperate with Italy, via OCCAR [Joint Organization for Co-operation in Armaments] for the construction of 3 logistic support vessels, on the basis of the projects carried out" for the future oil- supply ship of the Navy Militare, namely the A5335 Vulcano.
After the Italian elections of spring 2017, the terms of the agreement on the resumption of STX France had to be renegotiated between Rome and Paris. Meanwhile, the French government called for a rapprochement in the field of surface ships, between Naval Group and Fincantieri, the two companies then being called to form a similar alliance that brings together Renault and Nissan in the automobile sector. The merger between Fincantieri and Naval Group should help avoid fratricidal export struggles between the two groups and develop synergies in research, purchasing, industrial processes and maintenance.
The launch of the FLOTLOG (Logistic Fleet) program became all the more urgent as it had suffered, in the past, from postponements. Just like the one called "BATSIMAR", which provides for the renewal of the offshore patrol boats. In his greetings to the Armed Forces 19 January 2018, in Toulon, President Macron said that these two programs would (finally) be launched under the next Military Planning Act (LPM). Better: he even said that tanker tankers would be replaced and that their number would be increased. At a minimum, the Navy should therefore have not three but four such vessels.
Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly announced at the Euronaval 2018 trade exhibition that France will execute the "FLOTLOG" fleet oiler program in cooperation with Italy. Four ships will be ordered, and the first two will be delivered before 2025. This joint decision enhances Franco-Italian cooperation in the field of surface vessels. The Director-General of Armaments, Joel Barre, and his Italian counterpart, Secretary-General of Defense Gen. Nicolò Falsaperna, signed a Franco-Italian agreement for the construction of four ships in the presence of Florence Parly, Minister of the Armed Forces, and Elisabetta Trenta, the Italian Minister of Defense.
France joined the Logistic Support Ship (LSS) program, which Italy had entrusted to the management of the Joint Organization for Co-operation in Armaments (OCCAR). OCCAR was already running several joint programs between France and Italy: either through cooperation between these two countries - FREMM multi-mission frigates and the FSAF air defense system - or through broader cooperation involving other countries - MALE-RPAS medium-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aircraft and the ESSOR software-defined radio program.
The French ships will adopt the design of the Italian ship Vulcano, currently under construction, and incorporating necessary modifications required to support the carrier group formed around the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle. They will be built by Chantiers de l'Atlantique in Saint-Nazaire, in partnership with Naval Group, particularly for the combat system. The hull sections that host the refueling system will be built by Fincantieri in Italy.
The 4 force supply vessels will bear the names of engineers of maritime engineering: Jacques Chevallier, Jacques Stosskopf, Émile Bertin and Gustave Zédé. They were to be delivered to the Marine Nationale in 2022, 2025, 2027 and 2029. The Covid-19 epidemic did not prevent the ceremony organized on 18 May 2021, to mark the cutting of the first sheet of the first of the four Force Supply Buildings [BRF] that the French Navy has now been waiting for a long time to replace its three Durance class command and supply ships [BCR].
The keel-laying of the “Jacques Chevallier”, the first of four new logistic support ships (LSS) known as "BRF" for the French Navy (Marine Nationale) took place 24 December 2021 at the Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard in St Nazaire.
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