The keel-laying of the “Jacques Chevallier” took place at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in late December 2021. A keel laying ceremony was initially set to take place on 14 December 2021 (two days prior to the keel laying of the first FDI new generation frigate for the French Navy) and Naval News was set to cover the event. However the ceremony was cancelled at the time due to bad weather: The forward section of the ship, which was built in Italy by local shipbuilder Fincantieri, could not be delivered in time. The keel laying seemingly took place on Christmas Eve, with no ceremony.
The vessel was assembled in record time because by the end of February 2022, all the blocks were joined and the supply ship was fully assembled.
About BRF / Chevallier-class Replenishment Tanker
The construction of the first of four new replenishment tankers / supply vessels for the French navy (Marine Nationale) started in May 2020 at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard. Naval Group acts as the prime contractor for the program. The future vessels will be known as the Jacques Chevallier-class.
Chantiers de l’Atlantique and Naval Group were awarded a contract for the construction of four supply vessels in January 2019. The vessels are set to be delivered between the end of 2022 and 2029. It is part of a Franco-Italian program led by OCCAR (Organisation Conjointe de Coopération en matière d’Armement – Organisation for Joint Armament Co-operation), on behalf of the French defense procurement agency (DGA) and its Italian counterpart NAVARM. As such, the design of the French BRF design is based on the Italian Navy LSS (Vulcano-class) designed by Fincantieri.
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. The RAPIDFire naval gun system developed by the consortium formed by Thales and Nexter has been chosen as the main artillery and CIWS for the class (two systems per ship). GE is providing the propulsion systems (MV7000 drives) of the vessels.
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