French Navy new replenishment ship Jacques Chevallier carried out its first triple refueling at sea. The ship has demonstrated her replenishment capability by refueling her predecessor, the fleet oiler Marne and the frigate Forbin, at the same time using two liquid and one solid transfer lines. The meeting between these three vessels marks the first demonstration of the capabilities of the Jacques Chevallier class of support ships, with a cumulative fuel delivery rate of more than 1000 m3 per hour, as well as the delivery of several dozen pallets. For the Jacques Chevallier, this is the culmination of the qualification of all of her at-sea refueling facilities.
“This first triple refueling went very well. It is a satisfaction for the whole crew, and in particular for the youngest ratings, for whom it was a great first. The training, preparation and motivation of the teams made it possible to carry out this maneuver smoothly and in complete safety,” said Bosun Djamal, thz Jacques Chevallier’s chief of the maneuvers.
“This triple RAM represents the culmination of more than two years of work, from the analysis of the first plans in Saint-Nazaire to the actual pumping of fuel to the supported ships, including commissioning tests. It’s a great victory for the crew, whose investment has been constant,” said Lt. Arnaud, head of the FLOAT service at Jacques Chevallier.
The bâtiments ravitailleurs de forces, or BRF, are a class of future fleet tankers that are to replace the Durance-class units in French Navy service. Until January 2019, the programme was known as Flotte logistique (abbreviated FLOTLOG in military parlance). First ship of the class completed the first stage of her sea trials in January 2023 and was formally delivered to the French Navy in March to continue her sea trials. The four units of the class are to be constructed in Saint-Nazaire, at Chantiers de l’Atlantique. The first ship was initially planned for delivery in 2022. However, that delivery date subsequently slipped by one year, to 2023. Two additional ships are scheduled for delivery in 2025 and 2027. In 2023, it was decided that a fourth ship of the class was to be delayed beyond 2030.
On 18 May 2020, the navy published the names intended for the ships, which honour preeminent French naval engineers: Jacques Chevallier, Jacques Stosskopf, Louis-Émile Bertin and Gustave Zédé. Steel cutting for the first ship took place on 18 May 2020. The ship was launched in April 2022 and sea trials began on 20 December 2022. These ships are among the largest units of the French Navy, second only to the Charles de Gaulle. Defensive weapons will include the Simbad-RC system firing Mistral Mk3 surface-to-air missiles and two Thales/Nexter 40 mm RAPIDFire guns. The first guns of the type were installed on Jacques Chevallier in February 2023. In March it was confirmed that two Simbad-RC short-range SAM/SSM systems had been installed on the ship, on a platform located behind the bridge.