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French Navy commissions third Mistral-class warship

BPC Dixmude. A French Navy photo

PARIS (BNS): The French Navy has commissioned the third Mistral-class amphibious assault ship, BPC Dixmude, into service last month.

The warship, jointly built by DCNS and STX France, was handed over to the Navy by the French defence procurement agency DGA on July 27.

"This admission (of the warship) represents a major landmark for the latest PCB Mistral class and especially the culmination of several years of perseverance by industrialists, engineers and technicians that were involved in this complex project," the French Navy said.

Before being commissioned, the warship followed an operational readiness process and also participated in the 'Mission Joan of Arc' which was an opportunity to train future naval officers and check the military capabilities of the new vessel, it said.

France had ordered the vessel in 2009.

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

Before being handed over to the DGA in January this year, the ship underwent sea trials and returned to Toulon in July 2011.

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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