In the wake of her first sail at sea executed on the 20th of December 2022, the Logistic Support Ship (LSS) “Jacques Chevallier ” has successfully performed its first Sea Trial sequence from the 25th until the 28th of January 2023. It has allowed carrying several Platform’s trials with a dedicated focus on navigation. This sequence is the first step to the Qualification and then the acceptance of the First of Class which will occur in several months. Jacques Chevallier was a naval Engineer. He was a pioneer in the nuclear propulsion field for French submarines and assumed the role of “Délégué Général pour l’Armement” from 1986 until 1989.
The French Navy through OCCAR ordered four modified Vulcano-class logistic support ships of the class to replace its Durance-class tankers to be delivered in 2023, 2025, 2027 and 2029. Vulcano is an auxiliary ship that entered service with the Italian Navy, she is designed to support fleet operations with fuel and dry stores. The program is known as the Bâtiment ravitailleur de forces (BRF). France officially joined the program in October 2018. The French BRF ships are 1 metre (3 ft 3 in) longer at 194 m (636 ft 6 in) and 31,000 tons full load displacement compared to 27,200 tons, reflecting the French fleet’s greater need for aviation fuel.
OCCAR manages the Logistic Support Ship (LSS) Programme for Italy and France. With the amendment of the Programme Management Authorisation (PMA) in July 2017, France commenced the integration process into the LSS Programme. The related Memorandum of Understanding between France and Italy was signed in July 2018 and the resultant Implementing Arrangement in November 2018. France fully joined the Programme in January 2019 with the signature of the ProgD Amendment, and the French Global Contract for four Logistic Support Ships signed by OCCAR Director on 30 January 2019. The LSS PD opened new offices in the OCCAR Malakoff site on 15th February 2019, followed on 3rd June 2019 by the activation of LSS PD satellite office in Saint-Nazaire in Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard.
The LSS Programme comprises the Development and Production of five ships, along with In Service Support. The ships have been designed from the outset with enhanced “dual use” features for military operations and civilian rescue operations. LSS will be capable of supporting multiple missions, ranging from naval Joint Task Force to HQ afloat operations, providing medical support (NATO Role 1 / Role 2 Basic) and transporting naval and aviation fuel, fresh water, ammunitions, lubricating oil, food, spare parts and 20 ft ISO containers. During peacetime, LSS is designed to support Humanitarian and Disaster Relief Assistance Operations and will display modular capabilities.