For each Logistical Support Ship, DMC will supply two Van der Velden TIMON flap-type rudders including extended trunk and steering foundations, and two Van der Velden COMMANDER Rotary Vane steering systems along with the Integrated Logistic Support.
The rudder design is carried out by DMC’s engineers in Hamburg and will be CFD optimised for the ship’s operational profile, with special focus on cavitation behaviour, course-keeping and maneuvering, essential attributes for naval vessels of all types and particularly for support vessels transferring fuel and supplies at close quarters whilst underway. This capability is due to their open flap linkage mechanisms and side bar flap systems with a 90-degree angle. They also emit minimal noise and vibration.
The Van der Velden COMMANDER Rotary Vane steering systems are also ideal for high performance, oceangoing operations. Designed and manufactured wholly in the Netherlands, they generate an equal high torque in all possible steering angles, and with only one rotating part is both highly safe to operate and relatively low maintenance. The systems being supplied to Chantiers de l’Atlantique will be fully compatible with the performance requirements of the TIMON rudders.
With a fuel and freight capacity of 13,000 m³, the ships will provide logistical support to combat vessels of the French navy – in particular the Charles de Gaulle carrier group – and its allies.
“We are very pleased to have won this prestigious steering gear contract for these strategically vital vessels,” said Mr. Wim Knoester, Director of Sales and Marketing at DMC. “They will underpin the global reach of the French navy for many years to come and we are confident that our TIMON rudders and COMMANDER™ steering systems will deliver the performance and reliability required of them.”
About French Navy’s BRF Replenishment Tanker
The future French Navy tankers, with a fuel capacity of 13,000 m3, have the mission to provide logistics support to the French and allied navies’ combat vessels. They will carry fuel for vessels, jet fuel for aircraft, weapons and ammunition, spare parts, as well as food. The ships will also be equipped with waste management solutions and repair workshops.
The BRF will be modern and highly effective double-hulled ships, which will comply with existing international regulations. They will replace the current single-hulled Durance-class tankers of the French Navy that entered active service in the 1970s and 80s. The four new BRF will provide long-term support for any blue-sea combat fleet (aircraft-carrier, LHDs, destroyers) in both liquid and solid stores: fuel, ammunition, spare parts and food.
Safran Electronics & Defense was selected to supply the PASEO XLR extra long-range naval optronic identification & fire control system while to all four vessels of the class, while Vestdavit has won a tender from Chantiers de l’Atlantique to supply the davit systems for the BRFs.
Differences between French BRF and Italian Vulcano
The French BRF will be slightly larger than the Italian Vulcano (194 meters in length and 31,000 tons full load displacement compared to 193 meters and 27,200 tons). DGA told Naval News the reason for this difference is the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier: Its air wing is significantly larger compared to the Italian aircraft carrier Cavour. The requirements for aviation fuel are greater.
Naval RapidFire by Nexter and Thales
In terms of weapon system for the self-protection of the vessel, while the initial BRF images (released in 2019) showed two BAE Systems Bofor 40Mk4 gun systems (one forward, one aft), it is actually the new Naval RapidFire by Nexter and Thales that won the tender (in which Leonardo with the MARLIN 40mm, Rheinmetall with the Oerlikon Millenium gun 35mm, MBDA with the SIMBAD RC surface to air missile system and BAE Systems Bofors with 40Mk4 40mm were also competing). However, an official confirmation of the RapidFire selection is yet to be made…
Main characteristics of the BRF vessels
Gross tonnage: 28,700 GRT
Displacement at full load: 31,000 tonnes
Overall length: 194 m
Overall width: 27.60 m
Crew capacity: 190 people (including 130 crew members and capacity for 60 passengers)
Total deadweight: 14,870 tonnes
Freight volume: 13,000 m3
Total installed capacity: 24 MW
Artillery: 40 mm guns
Polaris® Combat Management System