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Foudre class

Landing ship dock

Foudre class LSD

The Foudre class landing ships have a surge capacity of 1 600 troops

 
 
Entered service 1990
Crew 215 men
Sea endurance 30 days
Dimensions and displacement
Length 168 m
Beam 23.5 m
Draught 5.2 m
Displacement, standard 12 400 tons
Displacement, full load 17 200 tons
Propulsion and speed
Speed 21 knots
Range ?
Diesel engines 2 x SEMT-Pielstick V400 diesels (20 800 shp)
Cargo
Troops (normal) 467 men
Troops (surge capacity) 1 600 men
Vehicles up to 60 vehicles of various types (200 vehicles without landing craft)
Cargo over 1 880 tons
Landing craft
Landing craft 1 x LCT and 4 x CTMs; or 2 x LCT; or 10 x CTM
Aircraft
Helicopters 2 x Super Frelons or 4 x AS 332F Super Puma
Armament
Artillery 3 x Breda/Mauser 30-mm guns (Siroco), 1 x Bofors 40-mm gun and 2 x GIAT 20F2 20-mm guns  (Foudre)
Missiles 2 x Matra Simbad launchers for Mistral surface-to-air missiles

 

   For many years the French navy's amphibious capability was based on two LSDs dating back to the 1960s, Ouragan and Orage. Unlike the British defence establishment, the French recognised the limitations of its ageing LSDs and ordered a new TCD (Transport de Chalands de Debarquement)/LSD in 1984. The Foundre (L9011 was laid down at Brest in 1986, launched in 1988 and commissioned in 1990. A sistership was authorised in 1994: the Siroco (L9012) was laid down that year, launched in 1996 and commissioned in 1998.

   The Foudre class are designed to carry a mechanised battalion of France's Rapid Action Force (FAN), the model for the new professional army that replaced the conscript force of the 20th century. The vessels can also act as logistics support ships. A typical load for these vessels consists of one CDIC (Chaland de Debarquement d'Infanterie et de Chars) - a 380-ton LCT of which the French built a pair to operate with the Foudre class; four CTMs (Chalands de Transport de Materiel) - 56-ton LCMs; ten AMX-10RC armoured cars. and up to 50 other vehicles. Without the landing craft embarked, the Foudre class can carry up to 200 vehicles. The well dock measures 122 by 14 m and can accept a 400-ton ship. Cranes of 52-ton (Foudre) or 38-ton (Siroco) capacity assist in handling heavy equipment.

   In terms of personnel, the Foudre class can accommodate 467 troops (plus 1 880 tons load) or as many as 1 600 troops for an emergency situation. With 700 personnel embarked, the Foudre class LSD has an endurance of 30 days.

   Both vessels carry comprehensive command and control facilities and medical provision includes two operating theatres and 47 beds. Siroco is designed to accommodate a modular field hospital.

   There are two landing spots on the 1 450-m flight deck plus one on the removable rolling cover above the well deck. They can operate a pair of Super Frelons or four AS 332F Super Puma helicopters. The landing deck on Siroco is extended aft as far as the lift, to give an increased are of 1740 m.

   Foudre has been scheduled to receive the same anti-aircraft gun armament as the Siroco since the late 1990s but the work has yet to take place. Air defence against close-in threats and sea-skimming missiles is handled by a pair of Matra Simbad lightweight twin launchers for Mistral IR-homing missiles; these are located on either side of the bridge. Without the three Breda/Mauser 30-mm guns as fitted to Siroco, Foudre relies on a single 40-mm Bofors gun forward of the bridge, and two GIAT 20F2 20-mm guns; both ships are also armed with two 12.7-mm machine guns. In 1997, a Sagem optronic fire-control system was fitted to both vessels. A dassault Electronique ESM/ECM system is also due to be fitted. The two ships are based at Toulon and assigned to the FAN; Siroco was deployed to East Timor for operations in 1999.

 

 
Foudre class LSD

Foudre class LSD

Foudre class LSD

Foudre class LSD

Foudre class LSD

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