SUFFREN class gallery

(Suffren ship image). Although the French Navy called these ships “frégate lance-missiles” (FLM), in reality they were always considered as destroyers due to their size and armament. The most distinctive feature of these vessels is the huge radome in which the aerial exploration radar antenna is housed. Their look is quite similar to the Dutch Tromp-class destroyers. The Suffren class were the first French ships designed as missile launchers, that is, they based their armament mainly on missiles.
(Duquesne ship image). In principle the class was going to comprise 5 ships, but due to the SSBN submarine program it had to be reduced to only two. These ships had a powerful aerial exploration radar with a range of about 400 km and a large and complete electronic equipment. They had installed the SENIT-1 tactical data system and a modern communications system that was modernized in the mid-1980s with the incorporation of a Syracuse satellite communications system. In addition, between 1989 and 1991, both ships received a deep updating of their electronics that allowed them to continue in service until XXI century.
(Suffren ship image). In their last years of service, the electronics consisted of an DRBI-23 3D aerial exploration radar and target designator (inside radome), a DRBV15 surface/low altitude aerial exploration radar, a Racal Decca 1226 (DRBN-34A) navigation radar, two Thomson CSF DRBR-51 fire control radars for Masurca missiles, a Thomson CSF DRBC-33A fire control radar for 100mm guns, a Thomson Sintra DUBV-23.1 hull mounted active sonar and a Thomson Sintra DUBV-43B towed variable depth sonar (VDS). Regarding countermeasures, they carried two Sagaie chaff/decoy dispensers, an ARBR-17 radar detector/interceptor, an ARBB-33 jammer and an AN/SLQ-25 “Nixie” torpedo decoy.
(Duquesne ship image). The power plant was composed by four automated control boilers that supplied steam to two sets of Rateau double reduction turbines that moved two propellers. The power generated was about 72,500 shp and the maximum speed was 34 knots. Its range was 5,100 miles at 18 knots or 2,400 miles at 29 knots. These vessels had excellent seaworthiness thanks to the installation of 3 pairs of non-retractable fin stabilizers controlled by two gyroscopic controllers.
(Duquesne ship image). The main armament consisted of a twin missile launcher for Masurca Mk.2 mod.2 (radio guided) or mod.3 (semi-active radar guided) anti-aircraft missiles with a range of 55 km. These ships carried 48 of these missiles that could shoot down aircraft flying up to 30 km in altitude. They also carried two double Exocet MM-38 anti-ship missile launchers, four fixed 533mm torpedo ramps with 10 DCN ECAN L-5 anti-submarine torpedoes, 1 Malafon anti-submarine missile launcher with 13 missiles, two Creusot-Loire Compact 100/55mm Model 1964 dual purpose naval gun, four or six 20mm Oerlikon guns and two or four 12.7mm machine guns.
(Suffren ship image). Both ships were based in Toulon and were part of the “Force d’Action Navale” (FAN). Initially they were deployed in the Mediterranean, but in 1975 they were transferred to the Atlantic along with the Clemenceau-class aircraft carriers. Although it was intended to withdraw these ships between the years 2000-2002, the D-603 Duquesne finally had to remain in service until 2007 due to the delay in the entry into service of the new Horizon-class destroyers developed together with Italy. After dismantling both ships have become breakwaters, the Suffren en l’ile du Levant and Duquesne in Saint-Mandrier.

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