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French DGA receives third Mistral-class ship

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PC Dixmude. A DCNS photo

TOULON, FRANCE (BNS): The French defence procurement agency DGA has taken delivery of the third Mistral-class amphibious assault ship, BPC Dixmude, for the country's Navy.

The warship, jointly built by DCNS and STX France, was deliverd to the DGA on January 3, 2012, three months ahead of schedule.

France had ordered the vessel in 2009. It was scheduled for delivery to the DGA at the end of the first quarter of 2012 for entry into active service with the French Navy later in the year.

However, the DGA was able to take formal delivery of the vessel on 3 January 2012, three months ahead of the contract deadline, DCNS said.

While STX France built the platform and propulsion system and installed shipboard equipment on the ship, DCNS integrated and tested the combat system, including its communication, navigation and combat management capabilities.

Before being delivered, the ship underwent sea trials and returned to Toulon in July 2011.

BPC Dixmude will join the French Navy later this year and will be used as a training ship for the Navy's Jeanne d'Arc mission.

The Mistal-class force projection and command vessel, with a length of 199 metres, a displacement of 21,500 tonnes and a speed of 35 km/h, is capable of carrying troops and deploying heavy helicopters, hovercraft, landing barges and armoured vehicles. The ship can also be deployed on humanitarian missions.

The first two Mistral-class vessels, BPC Mistral and BPC Tonnerre, co-developed by DCNS and STX France, have been delivered to the French Navy in 2006 and 2007 respectively.

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