UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!


Loire - bâtiments de soutien et d’assistance hauturiers

Loire - bâtiments de soutien et d’assistance hauturiersThe Directorate General of Armament (DGA) notified the BSAH market in August 2015 to SAS Kership, a group of Kership, Chantiers Piriou and Naval-Group. The contracting entity is the French military purchasing agency DGA (Direction générale de l'armement), acting on behalf of the Marine Nationale (French Navy). Piriou will be responsible for developing a detailed design of new ships, as well as the delivery of individual hull and superstructure elements.In turn, DCNS will supply the units with on-board equipment, including radio stations and will be responsible for the after-sales support of the user for 5 years.

The October 2016 order for the construction of another 2 support vessels used the option of the original agreement, concluded in the summer of 2015. It assumed the delivery of 2 BSAH units with the contract to be completed by 2018. These four offshore patrol boats are intended to replace the Gazelle, Élan and Taape BSRs and the RHM Tenace and Malabar put into service between 1973 and 1983.

BSAH ships will be 70 meters long and 16 meters wide. They displace 2665-2960 tons and develop 14-16 knots with a power output of 5200 kilowatts. The crew consists of 17 officers and sailors. There is space for 12 more people on board.

The Offshore Support and Assistance Vessel (BSAH - bâtiments de soutien et d’assistance hauturiers) program aims to renew the Navy's capacity to perform three types of missions:

  1. the support of the forces (towing of buildings of large tonnage, accompaniment of surface and submarine buildings, training of the forces ...),
  2. maritime safeguarding (rescue at sea, assistance to ships in distress, fight against maritime pollution ...)
  3. regional support (maritime works, support for maritime investigations, transport and supplies).

It will renew the Area Support Vessels (BSR - bâtiments de soutien de région), Sea Tugs (RHM - remorqueurs de haute mer) and Supply Tugs (RR - remorqueurs ravitailleurs). Spread across each facade, they will notably ensure the support of protection operations that may require towing.

Using proven civilian technologies in offshore activities, the BSAHs are are able to implement teleoperated underwater vehicles.

The first of the four BSAH, the Loire, was received on 22 March 2018 by the DGA. The second BSAH, the Rhône, is expected to be received in the summer. The last two copies of the series, the Seine and the Garonne, will be delivered in 2019. The Loire is assigned to the port of Toulon, as well as the Seine. The Rhone and Garonne will have Brest as a base port.

On August 23, 2018, BSAH Rhône left its base port, Brest, for a long-term deployment (LDD) to assess its military capabilities in cold and hot water before it was admitted to active duty. The second unit in a series of four vessels, the Rhône aims to provide the National Navy with towing and offshore support capabilities.

The BSAH carried out a circumpolar navigation, using the Northeast Passage (from the Norwegian Sea to the Bering Strait, through the Barents, Kara, Laptev, Eastern Siberia, Chukchi) seas. On September 14, 2018, the Rhone crossed the Bering Strait between the tip of Russia and Alaska. It will return to Brest via the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. This long-term deployment is unique in that it is the first time that a National Navy vessel has taken this route. This operation illustrates the ability of BSAH to deploy far and long in an environment with extreme and versatile weather conditions. Finally, in addition to strengthening the expertise of The National Navy crews to sail and operate in the Arctic, this type of deployment increases the weather and oceanographic knowledge of the areas traversed.

Ordered in 2015 and built according to civil standards and specific requirements of the National Navy, the Offshore Support and Assistance Buildings, by their versatility, meet military operational needs (towing and supporting and maritime missions of state action at sea entrusted to the National Navy (rescue, assistance, environmental protection, police).

On July 04, 2019, the Directorate-General for Armaments (DGA) took delivery of the «Garonne» (A605), the fourth and final vessel in the Metropolitan Support and Assistance Vessels (BSAM) program, ordered from the Kership group of companies (Chantiers Piriou and Naval Group). This new Navy vessel will be based in Brest.

A602Loire Apr
01 Jun
22 Mar
26 Jul
13 Nov
25 Jul
22 Jan
04 Dec
05 Mar
24 Jul
05 Nov
04 Jul


Offshore Support and Assistance Vessel (BSAH)
Metropolitan Support and Assistance Vessel (BSAM)
buildersKership ( Piriou and DCNS )
Served France Navy
sponsorDirectorate General of Armament
Start date2015
Planned ships4
TypeSupport building
Length70.3 m
Midship15.8 m
Draught5 m
displacement2960 tons
Deadweightabout 1000 tons
Propulsion2 diesel engines
Power2 × 2,650 kW
Speed14 knots
Crew17 sailors + 12 divers (optional)

Loire - bâtiments de soutien et d’assistance hauturiers

Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list

Page last modified: 04-12-2019 18:10:31 ZULU