Deperming, or degaussing, is a procedure for decreasing or eliminating the remnant magnetic field from ships and submarines in order to camouflage them against magnetic detection by enemy sensors or naval mines.
For the degaussing procedure, Aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle went through several hours of maneuvers in the harbour of Toulon (France’s main naval base).
“The operation, from a technical point of view, consisted in running an electric current through a network of cables placed on the seabed. This goal is to compensate the magnetic field of the ship and thus to avoid the triggering of nearby mines. These tests therefore aimed to accurately measure the aircraft carrier’s magnetic signature and adjust its immunization parameters.”
French Navy statement
According to the French Navy, the procedure requires a series of precise maneuvers in a very confined space (a few lengths from quayside vessels ) with several reversals and very sharp changes of pace (from zero to more than 6 knots) on the measurement rail, with a tolerance of less than 10 meters. Several times postponed for weather reasons, this maneuver was carefully prepared on a simulator.
Naval News understands that the degaussing system (known as Pipady installations) was designed by ECA Group. The French company is currently proposing a deperming system to the Royal Australian Navy with a local partner.
Mission Clemenceau 21
The French Carrier Strike Group (CSG) is expected to set sail this week for “Mission Clemenceau 21” which will consist in three phases:
- Phase 1: Off Libya in support of NATO and EU operations
- Phase 2: In the Eastern Mediterranean to fight against terror and cooperate with France’s allies
- Phase 3: In the Red Sea, Indian Ocean and Arabian/Persian Gulf
The CSG will consist of the following vessels:
- Aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle
- Air defense destroyer Chevalier Paul
- FREMM Frigate Provence
- Supply Vessel Var
- Rubis-class SSN
- Frigate Leopold 1er (Belgian Navy)
- Frigate Hydra (Hellenic Navy)
- Destroyer USS Porter (US Navy)
The fact that Charles de Gaulle went through a degaussing procedure right before this deployment is noteworthy as several incidents involving sea mines off Yemen and in the Gulf area have been reported recently.