French Navy upgrade and discussion

Picdelamirand-oil

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Picdelamirand-oil

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Nov 30, 2017
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Tailoring the French Carrier Strike Group to Emerging Challenges
The French nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle returns to service this spring after a major midlife refit that has upgraded its capabilities and interoperability.

By Vice Admiral Jean-Philippe Rolland, French Navy

The French nuclear-powered aircraft carrier (CVN) Charles de Gaulle is unique in every sense. It is the only European CVN, and its aviation facilities, weapon storage, combat system, and air wing combine with its seven escorts to create an extraordinary military capability—a carrier strike group (CSG). This capability can be decisive tactically, operationally, strategically, diplomatically, and politically. Its ability to deploy nuclear weapons adds an extra dimension.

But as the only one of its kind in Europe, the Charles de Gaulle leaves periodic gaps whenever extended maintenance periods keep it out of service. This happened with the just-completed midlife refit that began in early 2017. The upgrades constitute a major investment to fully meet the new challenges of a particularly unstable international environment.

Deployments

Since its first operational deployment in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11 2001, the Charles de Gaulle and its air wing have been almost continuously engaged. It supported operations in Afghanistan in 2001, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2010; in Libya in 2011; in Iraq and Syria in 2015 and 2016. With more than 40,000 fighter sorties from its deck, its strike capability, and the intelligence collected with its sensors, the Charles de Gaulle CSG has contributed substantially to the protection of French nationals as well as to our country’s military and diplomatic interests.

Interoperability

If the CSG’s autonomous information-gathering and action capabilities get the most attention, the Charles de Gaulle’s interactivity with other ships and international partners also should be highlighted.

It contributes to joint intelligence missions and to airstrikes and fire support for ground units. Fully interoperable, it is integrated both on the ground and at high levels within coalitions, as part of NATO (Afghanistan) or multinational coalitions (Libya and the Levant)—and even under direct U.S. command in the Persian Gulf.

The mutual trust between the U.S. and French navies is so strong that the United States released command of its Task Force 50 CSG to the Commander, French Maritime Force, Rear Admiral René-Jean Crignola, during the Arromanches 2 deployment to the Gulf in December 2015. U.S. Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson considers our CSG ready for “plug-and-fight” with a U.S. CSG, within political limits, as demonstrated during the deployment of French fighters to Naval Air Station Oceana and on board the USS George H. W. Bush (CVN-77) in May 2018.

The French CSG also supports diplomacy and high-level political initiatives. German, British, Belgian, and Australian frigates participated in the Arromanches 2 and 3 missions to the Eastern Mediterranean in 2015 and 2016. Such activities add substance to our defense agreements and partnerships. The CSG assesses the strengths and vulnerabilities of the forces it encounters, pinpointing new interoperability requirements, and detecting weak points in the threats it evaluates.

The French Navy and the Ministry of the Armed Forces determine what areas need adjustment to strengthen the CSG’s military capabilities: the aircraft (Rafale fighters, E-2 airborne early warning airplanes, various helicopters, Atlantique 2 long-range maritime patrol craft, and drones); submarines; embarked commandos; mine-warfare assets; destroyers; and supply ships—as well as the aircraft carrier itself.

More Than Just a Midlife Upgrade

During its midlife overhaul, the Charles de Gaulle received major upgrades, which were identified during its many deployments, including the capability to operate farther away, more efficiently, and more forcefully. These capability upgrades, along with changes to the strike group, will enable it to meet the naval and military challenges of the next two decades.

The 2016 retirement of the Navy’s Dassault-Breguet Super Étendard fighters has meant the ship’s configuration required modification to accommodate the all-Rafale air wing. As the ship returns to the fleet, it now can embark up to 30 multirole jets with a substantially increased flight range compared to the former aircraft, and can deploy a wide range of airborne weapon systems.

Changes to the hangar spaces, weapon storage, and telecommunication systems will enable the ship to take the best advantage of the Dassault Rafale’s capabilities. Transitioning the aircraft to the future F3R standard will make it possible to arm the Rafale with the TALIOS pod (a long-range optronic targeting system) and the long-range air-to-air Meteor missile. The CSG’s power-projection capabilities will be enhanced, thanks to new Missile de Croisière Naval (MdCN) cruise missiles on board FREMM multimission frigates and Barracuda-class nuclear-powered submarines. These two new platforms will define the format of the future French Navy and its crews, strengthening our ability to defend our interests in the quiet, dark, and contested undersea world. The Atlantique 2 maritime patrol aircraft (Standard 6) will put France at the top of the leaderboard in the tactical and technological complexity of antisubmarine warfare, as the number and performance of submarines rapidly grow.

Our mine-warfare capabilities will be tailored to new threats. Technological progress will make possible development of new mine countermeasure platforms such as submersible and surface drones, as well as incorporation of new artificial intelligence–based concepts.

Beyond these key capabilities, in a less visible but nonetheless essential manner, we have undertaken other significant upgrades over the past decade. The upgrade to the Charles de Gaulle included a new radar, combat system, and very-high-speed network infrastructure to increase the flow of information as well as reinforce cyberdefense. The ship’s airborne early warning E-2 Hawkeyes are being upgraded as well, with plans to purchase the E-2D model in the next few years.

The Navy has commissioned Horizon-class and multirole FREMM frigates, both with improved air-defense systems. The intermediate-size Frégate de Défense et d’Intervention (FDI) in development will have a very promising watch system and significant data-processing capability. Our networks will need the ability to detect threats farther away and earlier to act offensively and defensively.

A range of new threats is emerging—hypersonic anti-ship missiles, supercavitation torpedoes, armed drones, and cyberattacks—requiring the CSG to operate at the highest level of self-defense vigilance. The vertically launched Aster missile family will become the new self-protection standard with the decommissioning of frigates equipped with Crotale EDIR and SM-1 missiles. But force-protection is conceived systematically, not ship-by-ship, and the Rafale fighters also will contribute to the defense of the CSG.

Finally, the CSG’s strategic mobility could not be ensured without adding a credible logistical support capability—the Flotte Logistique (FlotLog) program will deliver the first new replenishment ships by about 2025.

The Nuclear Naval Aviation Force (FANu)—built around the Charles de Gaulle and Air-Sol Moyenne Portée (ASMPA) nuclear-cruise-missile-equipped Rafale fighters—relies on all the CSG’s assets. It will be strengthened by upgrades to each component, as well as the ASMPA’s probable successor, the Air-Sol Nucléaire de 4e Génération (ASN4G).

But equipment, no matter how efficient or sophisticated, is not sufficient to make a military capability. During the Charles de Gaulle’s two-year operational hiatus, a major doctrinal revision was conducted, as well as significant training for the sailors affected by the upgrades. Our personnel are the real source of our tactical strength.

Rolland-PRO-3-19%203.jpg

U.S. NAVY (RAFAEL MARTIE) The French nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle (foreground) conducted operations with U.S. Navy assets from Sixth Fleet, including the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69), during its Arromanches 3 deployment to the Eastern Mediterranean in 2016.

Formidable Operational Potential

Emboldened by the modernization of its major weapon systems and the integration of more powerful capabilities, the CSG must optimize its formidable operational potential. It also must take into account the increasingly competitive air and maritime environments and be prepared to counter a growing number of area-denial systems.

Rolland-PRO-3-19%202.jpg

FRENCH NAVY A French E-2C Hawkeye on the flight deck of the USS George H. W. Bush (CVN-77) during its two-month training rotation.

The French have placed an order for multiple E-2D Hawkeyes to be delivered in the 2020s.
To that end, the long history of French naval aviation has laid a foundation on which the Navy, the Charles de Gaulle, its air wing, and its escort ships will base future combat tactics. For example, the FREMM frigates must develop new tactics to take advantage of the platform’s exceptional antisubmarine performance. The airwing must prepare for the growing threat from drones. And the CSG as a whole must learn to combine with great flexibility very diverse capabilities—of joint assets, other special forces, or allied navies—to respond to and better understand the ever-more-complex operational situation. In this way, the CSG will become a state-of-the-art combat system, constantly evolving and operated by sailors who master the use of their weapon systems, while flexibly adjusting to any environment.

Significant training took place on shore and on new ships during the aircraft carrier’s overhaul. Carrier- based sailors benefited from simulators during the refit, putting the crew in situations similar to those during operations at sea—including traditional as well as emerging threats such as cyberattacks, jamming, and malicious drones.

Now the sailors must put that training into effect in the real world as the Charles de Gaullegets under way again. At sea, they will learn to combine the operational capabilities of the strike group through its tactical, carrier-based staff as well as those of allied navies.

Beyond operational readiness, logistical support is being mobilized not only for the ship but also to help the crew’s families. In that respect, to enable the embarked sailors to engage fully and with peace of mind in their mission, the Navy is working hard at reconciling the personal and professional expectations of the sailors. The first two FREMM frigates will experiment with dual crews from 2019 on, a new concept for the French Navy.

To meet the many challenges of today’s threat environment, the energy of many actors is required on many fronts—within the government, private industry, at the local level where naval and naval aviation bases are located, and among the sailors and their families.

Very few countries can mobilize the resources to set in motion and maintain the operational capability of a CSG. It is an honor for France to have achieved it.

Tailoring the French Carrier Strike Group to Emerging Challenges
 

RISING SUN

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France Navy Commander for IOR visits Delhi strengthening Indo-Pacific partnership
Rear Admiral Didier Malterre, Commander of the French Joint Forces (ALINDIEN) deployed in the Indian Ocean, visited Delhi from Feb 26-28, with Paris eyeing a wider role in the Indo-Pacific region in partnership with India.

Rear Admiral Malterre’s tour started with a visit of the Information Management and Analysis Centre (IMAC) and the Information Fusion Centre (IFC), following up on that undertaken by Admiral Christophe Prazuck, Chief of the French Naval Staff, two months ago.

Jointly run by the Indian Navy and the Coast Guards, IMAC focuses on the analysis of maritime information across the world. It draws on numerous sources of information for building its database on the global maritime situation, particularly by relying on its agreements with partner countries.

At the end of 2018, India also established IFC to monitor the region. It plays a central role in coordinating information in the Indian Ocean. As such, IFC works closely with ALINDIEN through the MARSEC unit to contribute to maritime safety and security in the region. The aim is to develop a repository of knowledge through information sharing between partner countries, including France.

During the visit, ALINDIEN held meetings with authorities of the Indian Navy – Vice Admiral MS Pawar, Chief of Staff - Eastern Naval Command, and Vice-Admiral Ashok Kumar, Vice Chief of the Indian Navy – as well as at the Integrated Defence Staff level, represented by Lieutenant-General Amarjeet Singh Bedi DG – Defence Intelligence Agency).

India’s foremost military partner in the Indian Ocean (through the strategic partnership signed in 1998), France shares a common vision of defence challenges with India.

This cooperation covers a regular dialogue, which is maintained on the occasions of the annual meetings of the Indo-French High defence Committee and international fora, such as the Shangri-La Dialogue and the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium as well as joint exercises.

Operational cooperation through exercises is particularly sustained in the domains of the sea and air but also land. Thus, the French and the Indian armed forces regularly participate in major operational engagements such as the Garuda air exercise, the Shakti land exercise, and the Varuna sea exercise. This year, the Varuna exercise will involve the deployment of the carrier strike group.
France Navy Commander for IOR visits Delhi strengthening Indo-Pacific partnership
 
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Picdelamirand-oil

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Mission Clemenceau: Two sailors of the aircraft carrier in the spotlight
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Two sailors from aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle , Master Jonathan fromChaufferies and Master Kevin from Propulsion received a congratulatory letter from the commander on May 9 for saving the life of a six-year-old Indian boy who was drowned in the swimming pool of a hotel.

2019_mtln_032_c_027_002_article_pleine_colonne.jpg

After several weeks of mission between the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean, the aircraft carrier was in Goa at the beginning of May for an operational break and to start the dock phase of the Franco-Indian Varuna exercise.

The two sailors, accompanied by a childhood friend, were at the edge of the pool, when one of the employees noticed the presence of an inanimate child in the water. Quickly, the child is out of the water by the sailors who find that the child does not breathe. Trained in actions that save and are used to responding to the emergency, the two sailors react immediately and provide first aid. " This situation has shown us how effective the training is in responding effectively to an emergency, " recalls Master Kevin.

After long minutes that seem like an eternity, the cardiac massage is effective. The two soldiers and their friend, by their coolness and the effectiveness of their care, saved the little boy. Master Jonathan is marked by the event: " I am a father, it could have happened to one of my children ".
 

Picdelamirand-oil

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Tailoring the French Carrier Strike Group to Emerging Challenges
The French nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle returns to service this spring after a major midlife refit that has upgraded its capabilities and interoperability.

By Vice Admiral Jean-Philippe Rolland, French Navy March 2019 Proceedings Vol. 145/3/1,393

The French nuclear-powered aircraft carrier (CVN) Charles de Gaulle is unique in every sense. It is the only European CVN, and its aviation facilities, weapon storage, combat system, and air wing combine with its seven escorts to create an extraordinary military capability—a carrier strike group (CSG). This capability can be decisive tactically, operationally, strategically, diplomatically, and politically. Its ability to deploy nuclear weapons adds an extra dimension.

But as the only one of its kind in Europe, the Charles de Gaulle leaves periodic gaps whenever extended maintenance periods keep it out of service. This happened with the just-completed midlife refit that began in early 2017. The upgrades constitute a major investment to fully meet the new challenges of a particularly unstable international environment.

Deployments

Since its first operational deployment in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11 2001, the Charles de Gaulle and its air wing have been almost continuously engaged. It supported operations in Afghanistan in 2001, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2010; in Libya in 2011; in Iraq and Syria in 2015 and 2016. With more than 40,000 fighter sorties from its deck, its strike capability, and the intelligence collected with its sensors, the Charles de Gaulle CSG has contributed substantially to the protection of French nationals as well as to our country’s military and diplomatic interests.

Interoperability

If the CSG’s autonomous information-gathering and action capabilities get the most attention, the Charles de Gaulle’s interactivity with other ships and international partners also should be highlighted.

It contributes to joint intelligence missions and to airstrikes and fire support for ground units. Fully interoperable, it is integrated both on the ground and at high levels within coalitions, as part of NATO (Afghanistan) or multinational coalitions (Libya and the Levant)—and even under direct U.S. command in the Persian Gulf.

The mutual trust between the U.S. and French navies is so strong that the United States released command of its Task Force 50 CSG to the Commander, French Maritime Force, Rear Admiral René-Jean Crignola, during the Arromanches 2 deployment to the Gulf in December 2015. U.S. Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson considers our CSG ready for “plug-and-fight” with a U.S. CSG, within political limits, as demonstrated during the deployment of French fighters to Naval Air Station Oceana and on board the USS George H. W. Bush (CVN-77) in May 2018.

The French CSG also supports diplomacy and high-level political initiatives. German, British, Belgian, and Australian frigates participated in the Arromanches 2 and 3 missions to the Eastern Mediterranean in 2015 and 2016. Such activities add substance to our defense agreements and partnerships. The CSG assesses the strengths and vulnerabilities of the forces it encounters, pinpointing new interoperability requirements, and detecting weak points in the threats it evaluates.

The French Navy and the Ministry of the Armed Forces determine what areas need adjustment to strengthen the CSG’s military capabilities: the aircraft (Rafale fighters, E-2 airborne early warning airplanes, various helicopters, Atlantique 2 long-range maritime patrol craft, and drones); submarines; embarked commandos; mine-warfare assets; destroyers; and supply ships—as well as the aircraft carrier itself.

More Than Just a Midlife Upgrade

During its midlife overhaul, the Charles de Gaulle received major upgrades, which were identified during its many deployments, including the capability to operate farther away, more efficiently, and more forcefully. These capability upgrades, along with changes to the strike group, will enable it to meet the naval and military challenges of the next two decades.

The 2016 retirement of the Navy’s Dassault-Breguet Super Étendard fighters has meant the ship’s configuration required modification to accommodate the all-Rafale air wing. As the ship returns to the fleet, it now can embark up to 30 multirole jets with a substantially increased flight range compared to the former aircraft, and can deploy a wide range of airborne weapon systems.

Changes to the hangar spaces, weapon storage, and telecommunication systems will enable the ship to take the best advantage of the Dassault Rafale’s capabilities. Transitioning the aircraft to the future F3R standard will make it possible to arm the Rafale with the TALIOS pod (a long-range optronic targeting system) and the long-range air-to-air Meteor missile. The CSG’s power-projection capabilities will be enhanced, thanks to new Missile de Croisière Naval (MdCN) cruise missiles on board FREMM multimission frigates and Barracuda-class nuclear-powered submarines. These two new platforms will define the format of the future French Navy and its crews, strengthening our ability to defend our interests in the quiet, dark, and contested undersea world. The Atlantique 2 maritime patrol aircraft (Standard 6) will put France at the top of the leaderboard in the tactical and technological complexity of antisubmarine warfare, as the number and performance of submarines rapidly grow.

Our mine-warfare capabilities will be tailored to new threats. Technological progress will make possible development of new mine countermeasure platforms such as submersible and surface drones, as well as incorporation of new artificial intelligence–based concepts.

Beyond these key capabilities, in a less visible but nonetheless essential manner, we have undertaken other significant upgrades over the past decade. The upgrade to the Charles de Gaulle included a new radar, combat system, and very-high-speed network infrastructure to increase the flow of information as well as reinforce cyberdefense. The ship’s airborne early warning E-2 Hawkeyes are being upgraded as well, with plans to purchase the E-2D model in the next few years.

The Navy has commissioned Horizon-class and multirole FREMM frigates, both with improved air-defense systems. The intermediate-size Frégate de Défense et d’Intervention (FDI) in development will have a very promising watch system and significant data-processing capability. Our networks will need the ability to detect threats farther away and earlier to act offensively and defensively.

A range of new threats is emerging—hypersonic anti-ship missiles, supercavitation torpedoes, armed drones, and cyberattacks—requiring the CSG to operate at the highest level of self-defense vigilance. The vertically launched Aster missile family will become the new self-protection standard with the decommissioning of frigates equipped with Crotale EDIR and SM-1 missiles. But force-protection is conceived systematically, not ship-by-ship, and the Rafale fighters also will contribute to the defense of the CSG.

Finally, the CSG’s strategic mobility could not be ensured without adding a credible logistical support capability—the Flotte Logistique (FlotLog) program will deliver the first new replenishment ships by about 2025.

The Nuclear Naval Aviation Force (FANu)—built around the Charles de Gaulle and Air-Sol Moyenne Portée (ASMPA) nuclear-cruise-missile-equipped Rafale fighters—relies on all the CSG’s assets. It will be strengthened by upgrades to each component, as well as the ASMPA’s probable successor, the Air-Sol Nucléaire de 4e Génération (ASN4G).

But equipment, no matter how efficient or sophisticated, is not sufficient to make a military capability. During the Charles de Gaulle’s two-year operational hiatus, a major doctrinal revision was conducted, as well as significant training for the sailors affected by the upgrades. Our personnel are the real source of our tactical strength.

Rolland-PRO-3-19%203.jpg

The French nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle (foreground) conducted operations with U.S. Navy assets from Sixth Fleet, including the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69), during its Arromanches 3 deployment to the Eastern Mediterranean in 2016.

Formidable Operational Potential

Emboldened by the modernization of its major weapon systems and the integration of more powerful capabilities, the CSG must optimize its formidable operational potential. It also must take into account the increasingly competitive air and maritime environments and be prepared to counter a growing number of area-denial systems.

Rolland-PRO-3-19%202.jpg

A French E-2C Hawkeye on the flight deck of the USS George H. W. Bush (CVN-77) during its two-month training rotation. The French have placed an order for multiple E-2D Hawkeyes to be delivered in the 2020s.

To that end, the long history of French naval aviation has laid a foundation on which the Navy, the Charles de Gaulle, its air wing, and its escort ships will base future combat tactics. For example, the FREMM frigates must develop new tactics to take advantage of the platform’s exceptional antisubmarine performance. The airwing must prepare for the growing threat from drones. And the CSG as a whole must learn to combine with great flexibility very diverse capabilities—of joint assets, other special forces, or allied navies—to respond to and better understand the ever-more-complex operational situation. In this way, the CSG will become a state-of-the-art combat system, constantly evolving and operated by sailors who master the use of their weapon systems, while flexibly adjusting to any environment.

Significant training took place on shore and on new ships during the aircraft carrier’s overhaul. Carrier- based sailors benefited from simulators during the refit, putting the crew in situations similar to those during operations at sea—including traditional as well as emerging threats such as cyberattacks, jamming, and malicious drones.

Now the sailors must put that training into effect in the real world as the Charles de Gaulle gets under way again. At sea, they will learn to combine the operational capabilities of the strike group through its tactical, carrier-based staff as well as those of allied navies.

Beyond operational readiness, logistical support is being mobilized not only for the ship but also to help the crew’s families. In that respect, to enable the embarked sailors to engage fully and with peace of mind in their mission, the Navy is working hard at reconciling the personal and professional expectations of the sailors. The first two FREMM frigates will experiment with dual crews from 2019 on, a new concept for the French Navy.

To meet the many challenges of today’s threat environment, the energy of many actors is required on many fronts—within the government, private industry, at the local level where naval and naval aviation bases are located, and among the sailors and their families.

Very few countries can mobilize the resources to set in motion and maintain the operational capability of a CSG. It is an honor for France to have achieved it.
 

vstol Jockey

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Dec 1, 2017
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Mission Clemenceau: Two sailors of the aircraft carrier in the spotlight
Google Translate

Two sailors from aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle , Master Jonathan fromChaufferies and Master Kevin from Propulsion received a congratulatory letter from the commander on May 9 for saving the life of a six-year-old Indian boy who was drowned in the swimming pool of a hotel.

2019_mtln_032_c_027_002_article_pleine_colonne.jpg

After several weeks of mission between the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean, the aircraft carrier was in Goa at the beginning of May for an operational break and to start the dock phase of the Franco-Indian Varuna exercise.

The two sailors, accompanied by a childhood friend, were at the edge of the pool, when one of the employees noticed the presence of an inanimate child in the water. Quickly, the child is out of the water by the sailors who find that the child does not breathe. Trained in actions that save and are used to responding to the emergency, the two sailors react immediately and provide first aid. " This situation has shown us how effective the training is in responding effectively to an emergency, " recalls Master Kevin.

After long minutes that seem like an eternity, the cardiac massage is effective. The two soldiers and their friend, by their coolness and the effectiveness of their care, saved the little boy. Master Jonathan is marked by the event: " I am a father, it could have happened to one of my children ".
I will call it just another day on duty. But hats off to the two sailors for quick thinking and equally good response. This is what we all are trained for.
 

Picdelamirand-oil

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d8d8ac4_fbhFgVGpsygAkq0DzqcoEMbo.png

Translation
  • Zone economique exclusive Française dans la zone Indo pacifique: Exclusive French economic zone in the Indo-Pacific zone
  • Principale zone d'action des forces françaises contre les traffics illicites (pèche, drogue) et la piraterie: Main area of action of the French forces against illegal trafficking (fishing, drugs) and piracy.
  • Principaux partenaires de défense: Main defence partners
 
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Picdelamirand-oil

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Macron to unveil France's nuclear-powered 'Barracuda' submarine

PARIS (Reuters) - President Emmanuel Macron will unveil on Friday France’s latest nuclear-powered ‘Barracuda’ class submarine, a 9 billion euro ($10.13 billion) stealth vessel program Paris says is key to maintaining its naval presence for decades to come.

The French government has placed an order for six of the 5,000-tonne submarines made by Naval Group, in which defense company Thales has a 35 percent stake.

The French navy expects to take delivery of the first, named “Suffren”, for sea trials in 2020 and the remainder will enter service over the following decade, replacing France’s ageing ‘Ruby’ class submarines.

“There is an imperative need for us to be present in conflict zones ... and to be able to pose a threat when necessary,” General Francois Lecointre, Chief of the Defense Staff, told CNews on Thursday.

France expects the Barracuda class to remain in service until at least 2060. The Suffren will be presented in her dry dock in Cherbourg.
 
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Picdelamirand-oil

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With Barracuda submarines, France muscle its oceanic nuclear deterrence

In the Naval Group shipyard in Cherbourg (Manche), France will launch on July 12 the Suffren, the first example of its six new generation nuclear attack submarines. A key element of the device of the French oceanic nuclear deterrent.

marin-suffren-naval-group-barracuda-cherbourg.jpg

The launch of the Suffren will take place this summer and the first sea trials will begin in early 2020.© Ewan Lebourdais

For armies, timing is important. France will launch its new first-generation nuclear attack submarine (SNA) on Friday, July 12th. The Suffren is the first of a new family of submarines, the Barracuda, which will succeed the existing fleet of Rubis commissioned in the early 1980s.

First sea trials in 2020

In Cherbourg (Manche), in the shipyard Naval Group, the President of the Republic must proceed to the inauguration of the new vessel in the presence of the Chief of Staff of the Navy, Admiral Prazuck.Officers, deputies, industrial shipyard ... In total, more than 750 people are invited to the ceremony. The launch of the Suffren will take place this summer and the first sea trials will begin in early 2020.

The military expects a lot from their future submarines. The Barracuda will be able to go further, faster and deeper than their predecessors, diving more than 300 metres below the surface. Equipped with nuclear propulsion, these impressive metal giants, 99 metres long and nearly 9 metres in diameter, will benefit from a long range and high level of discretion. Capable of carrying a crew of 65 submariners, the Suffren will have an autonomy of 70 days compared to the current 45 days.

Barracuda in service until 2060

"The Barracuda ANS will be in service until 2060. It is therefore a question of responding to both current and future threats," explains Bertrand Dumoulin, former nuclear submarine commander and spokesman for the French Navy. The Barracudas will carry out the classic missions carried out by their predecessors: to be a submarine hunter... to protect SNLEs, submarines launching missiles from nuclear deterrence; to be a discreet intelligence sensor without revealing its presence and to escort the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle during its movements.

The Barracuda will do even more. It will be able to strike targets deep into the ground with its new naval cruise missile without anyone knowing where the blow comes from. Thanks to the on-board mini-submarine with a capacity of 10 combat swimmers, it will also serve as a secret submerged forward base as a starting point for special forces. Only the Americans and the British have this ability today.

"To do all these missions, the submariner's permanent concern at sea is to have the acoustic advantage," explains Bertrand Dumoulin. This depends on the sonar on board and the intrinsic discretion of the ship. "We expect Suffren to be almost 10 times more discreet than current submarines," continues the former commander.

10,000 people worked on the program

For manufacturers and the Directorate General for Armaments (DGA), this launch is also an important milestone. The sheet metal cutting of the first copy was carried out in 2007. It took more than 10 years to study the feasibility of the project and arrive at a definition of the submarine.

Since its launch, nearly 10,000 people have worked on this program. Among the main stakeholders, the roles have been clearly divided: the DGA is the project manager for the programme, the CEA (Atomic Energy Commission) for the nuclear boiler room. Naval Group and Technic Atome are responsible for its development and implementation.

Other major manufacturers are contributing their know-how: MBDA (missile), Safran (above-surface detection system), Thales (underwater detection system), Schneider (electrical panels), FAPMO (pumps and valves)... More than 100 subcontractors and SMEs have also joined this program.

The six submarines will be delivered over a 10-year period starting in 2020. About 1000 submariners will be trained on the Barracuda by 2030. The total cost of the Barracuda programme amounts to €9.1 billion.
 

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Picdelamirand-oil

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French Navy received first two standard 6 ATL2s

October 2019 News Navy Naval Maritime Defense IndustryPOSTED ON TUESDAY, 29 OCTOBER 2019 14:29
This summer, Lann-Bihoué French naval air station received the first two ATL2 maritime patrol aircraft upgraded by Dassault Aviation.


French_Navy_received_first_two_standard_6_ATL2s.jpg

ATL2 maritime patrol aircraft (Picture source: Dassault Aviation)

Last week, Florence Parly, Minister of the Armed Forces, flew on one of these aircraft.

These two events demonstrate the progress made on the upgrade program which is designed to modernize the ATL2 combat system to standard 6.

The contract for the upgraded (standard 6) ATL2 combat system was awarded by the defense procurement agency DGA on October 4, 2013. The program covers a fleet of 18 aircraft. Dassault Aviation will deliver a further five upgraded ATL2s in the period 2020-2023. In parallel, the SIAé aeronautical maintenance center will upgrade 11 aircraft.

Standard 6 includes:
  • new radar: Thales Search Master with active antenna,
  • new Thales acoustic subsystem to gather and process signals from the latest-generation air-dropped sonobuoys for submarine detection,
  • new navigation console designed by Dassault Aviation,
  • new consoles for the tactical display subsystem, developed by SIAé.
The upgrade work is performed by Dassault Aviation and Thales (co-contractors), in association with Naval Group and in cooperation with SIAé. Architect of the combat system, Dassault Aviation is as well responsible for development of the core system including LOTI software designed by Naval Group. Dassault Aviation is also in charge of overall integration of all subsystems.

All the specifications for this program were established using the PLM Systèmes tool as part of a Dassault Aviation-Thales-Naval Group-SIAé collaborative work platform installed at St-Cloud in the Dassault Aviation design office.

The standard 6 upgrade will improve the ATL2s’ capability to support the Strategic Ocean Force, to deal with modern threats (future nuclear or conventional submarines, naval forces at sea, etc.) and to support air-land missions, until 2030.

France is one of the very few countries producing high-technology maritime patrol aircraft combining detection (optronics, radar, acoustics) with a variety of weapons (anti-ship missiles, torpedoes, laser-guided weapons).

“This expertise as an architect of maritime patrol solutions, both for the platform and for systems integration, is the result of experience dating back to the late 1950s and the launch of the ATL1 program, the predecessor of the ATL2. Dassault Aviation has extended this experience, from the 1970s onwards, with the maritime surveillance Falcons, the latest version of which is the Falcon 2000 MRA-based Albatros program. As we have shown once again with the standard 6, this maritime patrol/maritime surveillance expertise builds largely on the trust and the excellent working relations between our company, the DGA and the French Navy, to which I express my sincere gratitude. We will leverage this know-how to prepare together maritime patrol solutions beyond 2030”, declared Eric Trappier, Chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation.