Military Review

First in Europe: French Navy

46

SSBN Triomphant carries out the launch of the M51 rocket, 2016


The French naval forces in terms of their size and potential are the first in Western Europe and the second in NATO, second only to the fleet USA. They include developed surface and submarine forces, including strategic, as well as naval aviation... Plans are being drawn up and implemented for the further development of the fleet, which, as expected, will allow maintaining and increasing combat effectiveness.

General indicators


Currently, the French Navy is serving approx. 35,1 thousand people The number of naval aviation personnel is 6,5 thousand people. Another 2,2 thousand serve in the Special Operations Forces and the Marine Corps (FORFUSCO). The fleet has about a dozen naval, air and land bases. They are located both on the coast and inland.

The French submarine force includes nine submarines, incl. strategic missile carriers. The surface fleet has more than 80 warships and boats, as well as 35 auxiliary units. The naval aviation operates over 110 aircraft of all classes. There is a wide range of ship and aircraft weapons for various purposes.


Submarine Suffren before launching, July 2019.

In its current form, the French Navy is capable of carrying out strategic deterrence (at the moment they are the only component of strategic nuclear forces), defending sea borders and displaying a flag in remote areas of the World Ocean. In terms of quantitative and qualitative indicators, the French fleet cannot claim world leadership, but it compares favorably with other European navies.

The fleet is currently being developed according to two programs. The first is the Plan for the Construction of the Armed Forces, calculated until 2025. In 2018, the Mercator plan was adopted, which provides for measures to improve the fleet until 2030. Both programs provide for the construction and purchase of new materiel, infrastructure development, increased training of personnel, etc. etc.

Submarine forces


France's strategic nuclear forces are represented by four Triomphant-type SSBNs, each carrying 16 locally developed M45 or M51 missiles. They were recruited from 1997 to 2010 and are believed to be capable of continuing service for the foreseeable future. The possibility of their replacement is still considered at a theoretical level no real action has yet been taken.


Aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle

There are four Rubis-class multipurpose nuclear submarines in service, out of six built and commissioned in 1983-93. Such submarines carry torpedoes and Exoset missiles to combat enemy ships and submarines. The fate of these ships has already been determined. While they will remain in operation, but over time, as the resource depletes, they will be written off.

To replace the nuclear submarine Rubis, a new project Barracuda was created. It is planned to build six ships on it. The lead boat Suffren was accepted into the Navy in November last year. In the near future it will reach full operational readiness. The fleet will receive five more ships in 2022-30.

Surface fleet


The French Navy has one aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle and three Mistral-class amphibious assault ships. These ships are planned to be kept in service until at least 2030 - due to timely repairs. In the future, the aircraft carrier and the UDC will have to undergo modernization according to projects, the development of which has already begun.

The surface forces have 1 Cassard-class destroyer and 2 Horizon-class destroyers. The first of them will be written off in the future and replaced with a ship of a new construction of a different class. The other two destroyers are planned to be modernized with expanded capabilities and extended service lives.


Frigate Aquitaine of the project of the same name

The last anti-submarine defense frigate Latouche-Tréville of the Georges Leygues class remains in service. In the coming years, it will be taken out of service and disposed of. Six Aquitaine-class air defense frigates have already been built under the FREMM project. Two more such ships, modified for the implementation of ASW, will be handed over in 2021-22. In the future, new orders may appear. With the help of frigates "Aquitaine" in various configurations, the Navy plans to replace most of the obsolete frigates and destroyers by 2030.

For the time being, five La Fayette-class frigates will continue to serve. In the future, they will be replaced by new FDI ships. Currently, at one of the French shipyards, a groundwork is being created for the construction of a lead frigate of this type. The bookmark is expected this year. Also for the time being, six Floréal "reconnaissance frigates" will be retained.

Mine defense is provided by 15 minesweepers of three different designs with different characteristics. The most massive are the ships of the Éridan type - 10 units. In 2023, it is planned to receive the lead ship of the new type SLAM-F. In the future, such minesweepers will replace all available equipment.


FDI lead frigate laying ceremony, October 2019

15 patrol ships and boats, as well as 6 Coast Guard pennants will continue to serve for now. However, during the twenties, most of them will be replaced, for which a number of new projects with different characteristics are being created.

Similar plans have been drawn up for the operation and renewal of the auxiliary fleet. As the resource depletes, new projects appear, etc. in the medium and long term, all existing transports, tugs, reconnaissance vessels, etc. will be replaced.

naval aviation


The naval aviation of the French Navy is armed with more than 40 Rafale-M carrier-based fighters used on the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier. With them, 3 E-2C AWACS aircraft are included in carrier-based aviation. More than 20 Atlantique II patrol / anti-submarine aircraft and over 10 Falcon patrol aircraft of various modifications are also operated.


Fighter Dassault Rafale-M over the deck of "Charles de Gaulle"

There are auxiliary aircraft. The helicopter group is mainly represented by transport and / or search and rescue vehicles of various types. Combat (anti-submarine) capabilities have only NH90 in the amount of 25-26 units.

No radical restructuring of the structure or composition of naval aviation is expected in the next decade. It is proposed to carry out a deep modernization of deck and patrol aircraft, as well as AWACS aircraft in order to improve their basic characteristics and capabilities. In the future, it is possible to replace multi-purpose and transport vehicles of different types. The development of new models of aviation weapons is underway to combat air, surface and ground targets.

General trends


At the moment, the French Navy is the first in size and power in Europe and the second in NATO. It is planned to maintain this state in the future. The adopted development programs for the next decade do not provide for a significant change in quantitative indicators up or down. However, it is proposed to improve the structure and increase quality indicators.


Multipurpose helicopter NH90

Several main directions are envisaged. The first provides for the continuation of construction and renovation of infrastructure. The second stipulates the renewal of the combat strength by gradually replacing outdated ships, submarines and aircraft with modern and promising models that have obvious advantages. The third area is modernization. Until a combat unit has developed a resource, it will be updated with a significant increase in characteristics and capabilities.

Obviously, the current programs and projects will not be the last of their kind. In the coming years, we can expect the start of the development of new development plans, which will replace the current programs operating until 2025-30. Also, the development of promising ships and submarines should begin, which will be built from the end of the twenties.

Thus, France has clear and clear plans for the development of its naval forces, and also has the capacity to carry them out on time. Thanks to this, the French Navy in the future will be able to maintain a high combat capability and make the necessary contribution to ensuring national security.
Author:
Photos used:
French Ministry of Defense
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  1. Clear
    Clear April 12 2021 18: 14
    -6
    First in Europe: French Navy

    From such impudence of France, some people got fat stuck in their throats.
    1. Clear
      Clear April 12 2021 18: 51
      -3
      Quote: Clear
      First in Europe: French Navy

      From such impudence of France, some people got fat stuck in their throats.

      Judging by the cons, only five lol
  2. Holuay T.O
    Holuay T.O April 12 2021 18: 43
    -7
    Japan and Great Britain will be stronger
    1. mvg
      mvg April 12 2021 20: 00
      +12
      It remains to admit Japan to NATO.
      1. Niko
        Niko April 12 2021 22: 37
        +7
        Quote: mvg
        It remains to admit Japan to NATO.

        Or at least drag to Europe good
      2. alexmach
        alexmach April 13 2021 16: 11
        0
        And to Europe for one :)
    2. lucul
      lucul April 12 2021 20: 37
      -6
      Japan and Great Britain will be stronger

      Not a fact, the French have high-tech ships.
      And we, our opponents, are rubbing it into our ears that the Russian fleet must be more powerful than all the fleets of the world, otherwise Russia is not a superpower and, in general, Putin has merged the country ...
      And in fact - the Russian fleet is the third in the world.
      1. Nestor Vlakhovski
        Nestor Vlakhovski April 12 2021 21: 28
        -2
        our opponents, they rub it into their ears that the Russian fleet should be more powerful than all the fleets of the world
        For a century, the miserable Russophobes have not come up with anything new, therefore they are once again trying to ruin Russia by being drawn into an arms race.
        And in fact - the Russian fleet is the third in the world.
        Controversial. In terms of conventional weapons, it is hardly in the top ten of the world's leading fleets, but in terms of its nuclear missile potential, the Russian Navy has no analogues in the world. Aircraft carriers with destroyers are simply not needed if it is possible to change the landscapes of entire states.
        1. mvg
          mvg April 12 2021 23: 34
          +13
          but in terms of its nuclear missile potential, the Russian Navy has no analogues in the world

          Develop the topic of how several SSBNs, which can be counted (combat-ready) on the fingers of one hand, do not have the same amount in the world. Half of the SSBNs are already grandfathers, their age is over 30 ++ years, the second has only recently entered combat duty.
          And the states have 14 Ohio ready for 24 ICBMs, with crazy statistics of successful launches.
          PS: At the same time, they do not need to hide SSBNs under the ice and it is painful to think how to get to point X unnoticed .. to avoid three dozen Elks and 18 Virgins, not counting .. Japanese, Norwegians and Germans with shallow shavens.
          Do you still think that our Navy is in some way superior to the French or British?
          1. Ka-52
            Ka-52 April 13 2021 04: 34
            -9
            Develop the topic, how several SSBNs, which on the fingers of one hand can be counted (combat-ready), do not have an analogue in the world ..

            you have too many fingers on one hand. Lying too skillfully
        2. Ren
          Ren April 13 2021 08: 34
          0
          Quote: Nestor Vlahovski
          Controversial. In terms of conventional weapons, it is hardly in the top ten in the top ten of the world's leading fleets

          Well, Alexander Shishkin (navy_korabel) has a different opinion:
      2. Sergey Valov
        Sergey Valov April 12 2021 23: 19
        +4
        "The French are technologically advanced ships" - yes, their manufacturability is on the drum, warships are created for war, and here efficiency is needed.
        One aircraft carrier is bad, for more than half of its life cycle, the fleet does not have it in combat composition, the British turned out to be smarter by building two at once. And at the same time, you can even try to save on the air group, keeping one for two ships. In addition, the fleet is not only ships, but also bases, and here the British have everything much better.
      3. Basarev
        Basarev April 12 2021 23: 46
        +3
        Quote: lucul
        And in fact - the Russian fleet is the third in the world.

        Actually? When can we only produce serially outdated missile boats, almost Soviet ones?
      4. Patriot8482
        Patriot8482 April 13 2021 15: 21
        +4
        Of course, they will minus me now, but actually not even the third in the world. Japan and South Korea's fleets are not inferior to ours, to put it mildly. And in the case of Japan specifically, I even think to give preference to them.
        1. lucul
          lucul April 13 2021 16: 01
          -1
          Japan, South Korea's fleets are not inferior to ours, to put it mildly

          Remind us - what anti-ship missiles are on all NATO ships, and compare them with the Russian PKR.))))
          1. ironic
            ironic April 14 2021 13: 06
            -1
            Onyx is the most prominent anti-ship missile in service.
            1. lucul
              lucul April 14 2021 13: 19
              -5
              Onyx is the most prominent anti-ship missile in service.

              On NATO ships, what anti-ship missiles stand apart from the outdated Harpoons? America still has Tomahawks, but what about Japan and Britain?
              Let me remind you that Russia has anti-ship missiles in the form of Calibers and Onyxes, and Zircon will be added very soon.
              1. ironic
                ironic April 14 2021 16: 04
                +1
                Harpoons received a new version and GOS and by the way they are much less noticeable than Onyxes. Yes, the States still have Axes block 5 and 4, version 1, and they also began to equip LRASM. The Japs seem to have a Type-90. The RF has the X-35, Caliber in the anti-ship version and Onyx. Zircon is not yet clear what kind of beast. The caliber, if a normal search engine was screwed on it, is much more dangerous than Onyx, because the menia is noticeable.
    3. OgnennyiKotik
      OgnennyiKotik April 13 2021 00: 13
      +1
      The Japanese fleet is only quantitatively inferior to the Chinese one, the rating of the countries would be placed as follows:

      USA
      China
      Japan
      Britain
      India
      Russia
      France
      South Korea
      Italy
      Spain
      1. lucul
        lucul April 13 2021 09: 03
        -10%
        USA
        China
        Japan
        Britain
        India
        Russia
        France
        South Korea
        Italy
        Spain

        Remind us - in what way are the Japanese and British navies superior to the Russian navies? )))
        1. 3danimal
          3danimal April 15 2021 07: 20
          +2
          The number of modern ships of the first rank URO, aircraft carriers request
          1. lucul
            lucul April 15 2021 09: 29
            -6
            The number of modern ships of the first rank URO, aircraft carriers

            Yes? And what kind of anti-ship missiles do they have? How much are they superior to the Russian anti-ship missiles? )))
            1. 3danimal
              3danimal April 15 2021 15: 29
              +1
              Is everything measured only by anti-ship missiles? smile
              They are (currently, Harpoons of the latest versions), as well as carrier-based aircraft (F-35B).
              And also - the best air defense / missile defense in the class, one of the best PLO (absent completely on RTOs and Karakurt).
              First rank ..
              1. lucul
                lucul April 15 2021 16: 36
                -5
                Is everything measured only by anti-ship missiles?

                A warship without teeth? )))) Yes, but the quality and quantity of anti-ship missiles is the main type of weapon.
                By the way, did you see the range of those Harpoons? ))) And then compare with the Russian PKR)))
                And also - the best air defense / missile defense in the class,

                Come on, what was the basis for such a conclusion? What's better than our Polyment-Redoubt? )))
                1. 3danimal
                  3danimal April 15 2021 16: 44
                  -1
                  Come on, what was the basis for such a conclusion? What's better than our Polyment-Redoubt? )))

                  Detection range and the number of tracked targets, long-range missiles with an active radar seeker. The number of these missiles on one ship.
                  By the way, did you see the range of those Harpoons?

                  260-280km and warhead 225kg. Between Uranus and Caliber (RCC).
                  And the presence of carrier-based aircraft provides great flexibility and advantages.
                  Interestingly, all these destroyers are equipped with very successful and reliable GTUs "Rolls-Royce", "Wärtsilä" and "GE" (LM-2500).
  3. OgnennyiKotik
    OgnennyiKotik April 12 2021 18: 48
    +4
    The French naval forces are the first in Western Europe and the second in NATO in terms of their size and potential, second only to the US fleet.


    A very controversial statement. The British navy is much more powerful and modern than the French, its level roughly corresponds to the Italian one.

    Britain has 2 aircraft carriers, France has 1, Italy has 2;
    Britain has 6 destroyers, all new. France 4 pieces and all 80-90 years of construction, in terms of displacement as a modern frigate 4300 tons Italy, only 2 but more powerful than the French.
    Britain has 13 frigates, a full-fledged 4900 displacement superior to the French destroyers. The French have fairly modern frigates in the size of 16. Italy has 18 frigates, 10 of them FREMM and horizon.
    The kingdom's submarine fleet consists of 11 nuclear-powered submarines, France 10 nuclear, but 5 of them are very modest Ruby with a displacement of 2400 tons, Italians own 8 small diesel submarines.

    What we see, Britain is superior to all these countries in destroyers, aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines, slightly inferior in the number of frigates. France significantly surpasses Italy in the submarine fleet and it is worth recognizing that its AB stands as 2 British and Italian.
    1. Elturisto
      Elturisto April 12 2021 19: 11
      -1
      But what about the Mistral-ships of monstrous power, which were supposed to revive the naval power of the Russian Federation.
    2. Ryaruav
      Ryaruav April 12 2021 19: 23
      -2
      French naval aviation is normally well-developed aircraft, and Britain has some imperfections, besides, it is not yet on alert
    3. mvg
      mvg April 12 2021 20: 02
      +2
      Why is Gaul more interesting than the Queen and Prince? Catapults? And AWACS?
      1. OgnennyiKotik
        OgnennyiKotik April 12 2021 20: 11
        -1
        Aha Catapults, AWACS, AED. Air wing ± similar. But for a Frenchman, it can be more varied. Italians and British can only use helicopters, tiltrotors and F-35B. When / if AWACS appears at the Osprey base, this drawback will be smoothed out.
        1. mvg
          mvg April 12 2021 23: 37
          +1
          When / if AWACS appears at the Osprey base, this drawback will be smoothed out

          Does the AWACS option from friendly Nimitz or Gaul not work? Or the Japans will throw off the necessary information, or another 2-3 dozen countries that have an alliance with the impudent ones?
          And for “Argentin” and what they have is enough.
          1. OgnennyiKotik
            OgnennyiKotik April 12 2021 23: 47
            0
            We are comparing the same AB, and not the system of political-military relations. You can think of thousands of examples of when AWACS will be needed and when not. But in general, in the presence of AWACS, combat stability increases many times over. This is an indisputable plus that the French AB has, but the British one does not.
            1. mvg
              mvg April 13 2021 10: 01
              +1
              You can think of thousands of examples of when AWACS will be needed and when not

              In my understanding, a delusional article. Utopian situation ...
              But suppose.
              Two AUG Brit, with Daring and type 26/31 frigates, backed by 3-4 Astyuts, will look much more interesting as part of a joint NATO Navy than Gaul with Horizons and a pair of Barracudas.
              And Tridents II D5, I like more than M51 or M51.1 in frogs.
              PS: Over the entire post-war period, the French and British navies have operated independently of NATO or the United States only a couple of times. So AWACS is not so important for them as, for example, to us or China .. Moreover, we do not have aircraft carriers either. wassat
              1. OgnennyiKotik
                OgnennyiKotik April 13 2021 10: 13
                -2
                The British fleet is much more powerful than the French, this is unambiguous. Naturally, they build their fleet with an eye on NATO and the United States. By the way, France is not such an ardent admirer of NATO and a very young member of it, therefore, great autonomy is important for them.
        2. SovAr238A
          SovAr238A April 13 2021 09: 42
          0
          Quote: OgnennyiKotik
          When / if an AWACS appears at the Osprey base, this drawback will be smoothed out.


          Will not appear.
          The wing folding mechanics will not allow.
          And to change it is too difficult, it is easier to create a new apparatus.
          1. OgnennyiKotik
            OgnennyiKotik April 13 2021 10: 01
            -1
            The issue of the antenna's weight and size, the Osprey wings move across the entire plane, it is quite possible to modify the antenna to fit.

            And there are other antenna locations. On the sides, bottom. Solvable problem, if desired.

        3. 3danimal
          3danimal April 15 2021 15: 25
          0
          By the way, a good idea with a tiltrotor good
  4. spirit
    spirit April 12 2021 19: 05
    -2
    Somewhere in a coffin, one Tirpitz turned over lol
  5. Ryaruav
    Ryaruav April 12 2021 19: 16
    -5
    Well done, the paddling pool, the mossy ruler of the seas was not moved
  6. mvg
    mvg April 12 2021 19: 59
    +4
    Everything is as usual. Repetition is the mother of learning. For an author, this is a business card, as well as unreadable articles with errors. About nothing.
    They compete with Polonsky, who will give the material worse. While Ilyukha is ahead, for the obvious
  7. Petrol cutter
    Petrol cutter April 12 2021 20: 02
    0
    What do our British partners think about this?
    1. SovAr238A
      SovAr238A April 13 2021 09: 45
      0
      Quote: Benzorez
      What do our British partners think about this?

      Does Honduras bother you? (C) Soviet cinema 1988
      1. Petrol cutter
        Petrol cutter April 13 2021 20: 34
        0
        So Honduras worries me ...
        I watched this movie. And what next? ..
  8. Nestor Vlakhovski
    Nestor Vlakhovski April 12 2021 21: 18
    +2
    Extremely weak article, at the level of copy-paste from Wikipedia. Probably, even there there will be more information about the French Navy.
  9. The comment was deleted.
  10. voyaka uh
    voyaka uh April 12 2021 22: 37
    +3
    And where did they lose England with its 6 destroyers and 2 aircraft carriers? laughing
  11. The comment was deleted.
  12. ramzay21
    ramzay21 April 16 2021 23: 34
    0
    An excellent example of how a fleet is built when the leadership is on friendly terms.