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Displaying items by tag: French Navy

#NavalVisits - A flotilla of five French Navy vessels are currently on a call to the capital following the small ships arrival into Dublin Port yesterday morning, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Mine counter measures (MCM) vessel Cassiopée built in 1984 is of the Éridan-class. The class otherwise commonly known as the 'Tripartite' class, berthed downriver unlike the rest of the flotilla allocated along Sir John Rogerson Quay. 

Accompanying the MCM Tripartite vessel displacing 615 tonnes are three sonar-towing training ships of the (BRS) type Antarès, the namesake of the leadship class which is in port. The remaining pair are Aldebaran and Altaïr. Each of the trio displace just 340 tonnes and were all commissioned in the 1990's. 

The fifth visitor is represented by the Chamois class auxiliary Élan which among its duties serves as an anti-pollution vessel based in Cherbourg. The 400 displacement tonnes vessel with a large aft-deck is equipped with a hydraulic crane located at the stern. The veteran vessel in April, marked its 40th year since entering service in 1978.

An even older French Navy visitor was the Paimpolaise-class sail training ship Belle-Poule. The schooner dating to 1932 made an impressive sight during last Monday's Bank Holiday 'Parade of Sail' in Dublin Bay before heading for Bordeaux.

Published in Naval Visits

#NavalVisits - Navies from neighbouring nations of France, Belgium and the Netherlands are to arrive in Dublin Port today in advance of the May Bank Holiday Weekend, with one ship from each navy visiting, writes Jehan Ashmore.

First to arrive is the French Navy's Éridan class minehunter Andromède (M 643) one of the 'Tripartite' vessels completed in collaboration of the three visiting navies to the Irish capital.

Already in the port to welcome the trio of European naval visitors is the Naval Service's OPV90 class L.E. William Butler Yeats (see story). The second of three 'Beckett' class sisters in service, arrived on Tueday and is berthed at Sir John Rogerson's Quay.

While across Dublin Bay, is where yesterday CPV L.E. Ciara docked in Dun Loaghaire Harbour where an unusual caller the ro-ro Stena Carrier underwent a survey. Some of the '4Runner' class sisters down the years have been chartered to the UK's Royal Fleet Auxiliary and NATO. 

Returning to Dublin Port is where Andromède is to berth at Sir John Rogersons Quay closer to the centre of the capital. It was in the French capital yesterday where Minister for Agriculture Food & Marine, Michael Creed TD met his French counterpart, Stephane Travert.

Afloat adds during the French naval visit, the Association of Veterans of the Foreign Legion in Ireland meets for the annual commemoration of the Battle of Camarón. The ceremony this year will take place on the Bank Holiday Monday, 5 May at 11:45 am at Collins Barracks. This free event is open to all to attend at the venue close to the banks of the Liffey.

As for this morning, the Dutch Navy's HNMLS Evertsen (F805) is to make an appearance albeit docking at a deeper quay downriver. The vessel is the fourth De Zeven Provinciën-class frigate of the Royal Netherlands Navy.

The third visitor, the Belgian Navy's BNS Louise-Marine (F931) will arrive in the afternoon and is to berth next to Andromède. The final caller to the capital is the second of a pair of Karel Doorman-class frigates of the Belgian Maritime Component (the official name of the navy). The frigate commissioned in 2008 was acquired three years previously from the Netherlands Navy.

Published in Naval Visits

#NavalVisits - A trio of French Navy trainee ships docked in Dublin Port for a crew rest and recreation visit to the capital this weekend, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The Léopard class school-training vessels each with 18 students, had arrived yesterday and berthed along Sir John Rogersons Quay.

Each of the small ships measure 43m in length and have a beam of 8.30m. The trio are the Lynx, Panthère and Tigre.

Displacing 335 tonnes, the sisters are part of an eight-strong class that were commissioned in the early 1980's. Among them Jaguar which along with Tigre called to Dun Laoghaire Harbour just over a year ago.  

Arnament comprises of pair of 12.7mm guns. 

The range of the Léopard class is 5,000 nautical based on a speed of 12 knots.

Published in Naval Visits

#navalvisits - A French Navy frigate docked in Cork city at the weekend having sailed from Cherbourg, Normandy though the ship is based at Brest Naval Base in neighbouring Brittany, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The 1,250 tonnes full displacement Commandant L'Herminier (F 791) according to the Port of Cork website remains berthed this morning at the city-centre’s South Quays. A crew compliment totalling almost 90 personnel consists of 7 senior officer ranks, 58 secondary officer mariners and 24 cadets.

Commandant L'Herminier is an Aviso type A69 / d'Estienne d'Orves ship that was commissioned into the French Navy having made a debut more than three decades in 1986. The 80m long class vessel designed for anti-submarine duties also carries out high sea escort missions and various other tasks.

Among the principle weaponary of the class are Exocet sea missiles and the ability to launch torpedoes. In addition equipment such as a drone that form part of a suite of surveillance operations.

A maximum 15 day duration period is available when operating in an autonomous mode. The ship's service speed is 24 knots.

Published in Naval Visits

#FrenchFriday- A flotilla from the French Navy are all scheduled to have arrived to Dublin Port this Friday and in the capital the French embassy will on Saturday take part in 'Open House Dublin' this weekend, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Originally a quartet of French naval vessels were expected to call, however Afloat has monitored that this total has been reduced to three ships that are to visit. They are a minehunter, a frigate and an auxiliary oil/stores replenishment ship.

First to arrive at lunch hour today, will be the minehunter Sagittaire of the 'Eridan' class also otherwise known as the 'Tripartite' class. They are from a shared ship build programme that was co-ordinated with the combined co-operation of the French, Belgium and Dutch navies.

The 51m Sagittaire with a displacement of 615 tonnes is to arrive upriver along Sir John Rogersons Quay. This 21 year old vessel was completed by Direction des Constructions Navales (DCN) in Lorient, south Brittany.

The remaining pair are to arrive tomorrow, firstly in the form of the frigate Lieutenant de vaisseau Lavallée. This 80m vessel which is a 'Estienne d'Orves' class OPV frigate that among its principle weaponary consists of Exocet missiles. Likewise of the minehunter, the frigate will take a berth upriver on the Liffey along Sir John Rogersons Quay.

This leaves the final caller the 157m BCR Somme, the second of three 'Durance' class oil /stores supply sisters in which this particular ship entered service in 1990. The 18,000 full displacment tonnes ship is to dock within the deeper waters of Alexandra Basin. This is the largest basin within the port that is located close to the Tom Clarke bridge. 

As previously reported here on Afloat, it is at the Tom Clarke bridge (seaward side) where the excursion boat St. Bridget will be operating (pre-booked) port tours (Saturday, 14 Oct) also as part of events during Open House Dublin. The tour is to take in Alexandra Basin where phase one of major redevelopment works has begun as part of the port masterplan.

Published in Navy

#Flotilla – A French Navy flotilla all consisting of training vessels are visiting Dublin where also in port is the Finnish Navy’s flagship, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The small training ships that arrived yesterday belong to the Léopard class which were commissioned into service from 1982 and the following year. In fact almost all the class are in the capital given that five of the eight training ships are making the four-day call. 

Leadship and class namesake, Léopard is visiting along with Chacal, Guépard, Tigre and Panthère. Each vessel is just 335 displacement tonnes and have a length of 43.0m on a beam of 8.30m. In addition to the training cadets, the class are used to carry out anti-pollution duties.

As for the Finnish Navy’s flagship, FNS Hämeenmaa, this is the first caller to the capital undertaken by the Nordic nation. The minelayer of 1,300 displacement tonnes had arrived on Wednesday direct from Funchal, Madeira.

Published in Naval Visits

#StealthShip - Presenting ‘stealth’ characteristics is frigate Provence of the French Navy which is to make a courtesy call to Dublin tomorrow and will be open at the weekend, writes Jehan Ashmore.

On Saturday the public are invited to board the slick 6,000 gross tonnage 'Aquitaine' class FREMM frigate. The visit will allow for a crew rest in the capital. 

Measuring 142m long vessel, Provence is of the French Frégate européenne multi-mission (FREMM) programme in which the ship is the second of the class. The vessel was built in Brest by DCNS in 2015.

Provence is one of three active multiple-purpose frigates serving French Navy and they are equipped to operate during anti-submarine missions.

Among the equipment which is fitted with the latest technology includes MU90 torpedoes, variable depth sonar and bow mounted sonars.

At the stern is where a NH90 helicopter can be landed and this aircraft is fitted with buoys and flash sonar.

Published in Naval Visits

#ExtendedVisit – Almost 400 visiting crew members from a pair of French Navy vessels that docked in Dublin Port as reported yesterday, will remain berthed in the capital on extended shore leave up to next Thursday, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The naval vessels are a destroyer and an auxiliary replenishment tanker and will not be open to public unlike the NATO flotilla that called to the capital earlier this month.

Normally such visits are confined over a weekend, but on this occasion the call to the capital involves an extended leave during the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising that begins tomorrow.   

The F70 AA or ‘Cassard’ Class leadship Cassard (D 614) one of two sisters, are guided-missile destroyers despite the French Navy that designate them as frigates. The 5,000 deadweight replacement tonnes destroyer has a crew of 230 and was joined yesterday lunchtime by ‘Durance’ class replenishment tanker Var (A 608) with a crew of 150.

The destroyer docked within Alexandra Basin located in the centre of the port while downriver at Ocean Pier is where the 18,000 tonnes displacement at full load tanker berthed.

Cassard was launched in 1985 and three years later was commissioned into service. The 139m long frigate has a top speed of 30 knots. Main armament consists of Mistral and Exocet missiles. A hanger is where Panther type helicopters provide additional capabilities for the Cassard class.

Replenishment auxiliary tanker Var was launched in Brest in 1981 and two years later entered service. The 157m long tanker can achieve a more modest 19 knots and has a range of defence equipment among them a pair of 20 mm Oerlikon guns.

Likewise of the destroyer, Var can handle a Panther helicopter along with a variety of other such aircraft, among the examples are the Dauphin, Cougar, Gazelle and Puma.

Published in Naval Visits

#FrenchDouble - Following earlier this month’s NATO flotilla to Dublin Port, a pair of French Naval vessels are to make an appearance albeit they will not be open to the public, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The F70 AA class frigate Cassard (D 614) along with an auxiliary replenishment tanker Var (A 608) are to arrive in Dublin Bay tomorrow. The former is due in Dublin Port in the morning while the later takes a lunchtime slot.

Unlike the NATO visitors which berthed near the East-Link bridge, the French visitors will be away from the public gaze. The frigate will be tucked away in the adjacent Alexandra Basin. As for the ‘Durance’ class tanker, this vessel will be berthed downriver at Ocean Pier.

At the same time of the NATO flotilla, Afloat reported that of the visit to Dun Laoghaire Harbour of another French Navy pair of  the Leopard class cadet trainee vessels.

 

Published in Naval Visits

#FrenchNavy - A pair of French Navy trainee vessels visited Dun Laoghaire Harbour while all the attention focused on the NATO flotilla to neighbouring Dublin Port last weekend, writes Jehan Ashmore.

It was a busy scene as hundreds of visitors flocked to the NATO six-strong flotilla on the Liffey beside the East-Link Bridge. In stark contrast across the bay in Dun Laoghaire, French Navy vessels Tigre and Jaguar were berthed without the attention that a NATO call can draw, largely due to media coverage.

Senior French naval ratings were welcomed from the two Leopard class vessels at a reception held in the Harbour Lodge of the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company.

Each of the 335 tonnes vessels docked at berth No. 3 along St. Micheal’s Pier where the ‘former’ ferry terminal is available to let as previously reported on Afloat.

At this berth is also located the harbour’s only suitable ferry berth linkspan (see photo). The facility is to the left of the naval vessels but cannot be seen in the above photo.

On the adjacent side of St. Michaels Pier, is berth No. 4, where a linkspan (now redundent) was custom-built to handle the specialist berthing requirements of the HSS Stena Explorer. The fast-ferry was withdrawn from the Holyhead route following Stena’s closure of the service in 2014.

Published in Naval Visits
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Naval Visits focuses on forthcoming courtesy visits by foreign navies from our nearest neighbours, to navies from European Union and perhaps even those navies from far-flung distant shores.

In covering these Naval Visits, the range of nationality arising from these vessels can also be broad in terms of the variety of ships docking in our ports.

The list of naval ship types is long and they perform many tasks. These naval ships can include coastal patrol vessels, mine-sweepers, mine-hunters, frigates, destroyers, amphibious dock-landing vessels, helicopter-carriers, submarine support ships and the rarer sighting of submarines.

When Naval Visits are made, it is those that are open to the public to come on board, provide an excellent opportunity to demonstrate up close and personal, what these look like and what they can do and a chance to discuss with the crew.

It can make even more interesting for visitors when a flotilla arrives, particularly comprising an international fleet, adding to the sense of curiosity and adding a greater mix to the type of vessels boarded.

All of this makes Naval Visits a fascinating and intriguing insight into the role of navies from abroad, as they spend time in our ports, mostly for a weekend-long call, having completed exercises at sea.

These naval exercises can involve joint co-operation between other naval fleets off Ireland, in the approaches of the Atlantic, and way offshore of the coasts of western European countries.

In certain circumstances, Naval Visits involve vessels which are making repositioning voyages over long distances between continents, having completed a tour of duty in zones of conflict.

Joint naval fleet exercises bring an increased integration of navies within Europe and beyond. These exercises improve greater co-operation at EU level but also internationally, not just on a political front, but these exercises enable shared training skills in carrying out naval skills and also knowledge.

Naval Visits are also reciprocal, in that the Irish Naval Service, has over the decades, visited major gatherings overseas, while also carrying out specific operations on many fronts.

Ireland can, therefore, be represented through these ships that also act as floating ambassadorial platforms, supporting our national interests.

These interests are not exclusively political in terms of foreign policy, through humanitarian commitments, but are also to assist existing trade and tourism links and also develop further.

Equally important is our relationship with the Irish diaspora, and to share this sense of identity with the rest of the World.

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