Designated Fregates (frigates) lance-missiles by the French navy, the two ships of the 'Suffren' class are distinguished by the massive spherical radomes of their DRBI 23 D band air search radar sets. Suffren, commissioned in 1967, and Duquesne, in 1970, both ship a mixed armament of anti-surface and anti-submarine weapons on relatively large hulls. Equipped with stabilizers, they have the reputation of excellent sea-boats. Both serve with the French Mediterranean squadron. Suffren underwent a major refit in 1988-89, which involved extensive modernization of her sensors, fire-control systems and ECCM. Duquesne received similar treatment in 1991-92.
Double reduction ratio geared steam turbines provide a top speed of 34 knots and a range of 8160 km at 18 knots. She is manned by a crew of 355, including 23 officers. Armaments consist of four Aerospatiale MM 38 Exocet anti-ship missiles (fitted during a modernisation in 1979); an ECAN Ruelle Masurca twin launcher taking the Mk 2 Mod 3 anti-aircraft missile The Latecoere Malafon acoustic homing anti-ship missile torpedo; two DCN 100 mm/55 Mod 1964 CADAM automatic guns; four Oerlikon 20 mm guns; four torpedo launchers (two each side) taking the ECAN L5 anti-submarine torpedo.
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