According to the head of the French defense procurement agency DGA, Emmanuel Chiva, the first sea trials focused on propulsion and navigation:
“First sea trials for the “Jacques Chevallier”, the 1st force supply vessel (BRF) of the “Logistics fleet” program (FLOTLOG), marking the start of its qualification and acceptance sea trials. They mainly concern propulsion & navigation. Several other trials are then planned until June, from Saint-Nazaire, Brest and Toulon, with, in particular, tests on the combat system and refueling system. The reception of the 1st BRF is scheduled at the end of these tests in the summer of 2023.”
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 keel-laying of the “Jacques Chevallier” took place at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in late December 2021 with no ceremony. The forward section of the ship was built in Italy by local shipbuilder Fincantieri. 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.
The first-in-class ship was launched in Saint-Nazaire on 29 April 2022. The Bâtiment Ravitailleur de Forces (BRF) Jacques Chevallier is the first of a series of four ships intended for the French Navy as part of the FLOTLOG program. The contract was awarded in January 2019 to Chantiers de l’Atlantique and Naval Group. The four vessels will be delivered successively until 2029.
The FLOTLOG program is part of a Franco-Italian cooperation led by OCCAR on behalf of the French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA) and its Italian counterpart NAVARM, within the Logistic Support Ship (LSS) program.
About BRF / Chevallier-class Replenishment Tanker
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, altough the first-in-class vessel may get only one initially). MBDA will supply two Simbad-RC Very Short Range Air Defense (VSHORAD) 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
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