April 18, 2009
France orders third Mistral class
As part of the French Government's economic recovery plan, STX Europe and DCNS have been given the contract to build the French Navy's third Mistral-class Projection and Command Vessel (BPC).
STX Europe has already delivered two BPCs in cooperation with DCNS; Mistral and Tonnere were delivered in 2006 and 2007 respectively.
Construction of the first two Mistral class vessels saw the front sections of the ships built at the Saint-Nazaire yard of STX Europe. These were then joined with the aft sections at DCNS,
The budget target set by the recovery plan ruled out sharing construction of the platform between two production sites because of the additional costs-- in particular for transport, interfacing and tests.
The third Mistral will be built solely at the Saint-Nazaire site of STX France Cruise SA, which is jointly owned by STX Europe, Alstom and the French Republic, with STX Europe having the majority stake,
While STX Europe build the platform and outfit the ship in Saint-Nazaire, DCNS, as cocontractor, will produce its combat system.
Once trials are completed, the vessel will move to Toulon where DCNS will manufacture and integrate the combat system, which includes communications, navigation and combat management systems.
With a length of 199 m in length, a displacement of 21,000 tons and a speed of 19 knots, the BPCs are distinguished by their large carrying capacity: 450 troops, 16 heavy-lift helicopters, 2 hovercraft, 4 LCMs (landing craft) or a third of a mechanized regiment (1,000 tons), which they are able to deploy worldwide.
They are equipped with electric pod propulsion and their high level of automation enables the size of their crew to be reduced to 160. They also have an on-board hospital for large-scale humanitarian missions.