During the 1950s, the French Marine Nationale commissioned a pair of fully gun-armed cruisers in order to provide anti-aircraft protection to the fleet. One of them was the C-610 De Grasse, completed in 1956 and the other was the C-611 Colbert which entered service three years later. Both ships were of similar design with some armoured protection, although the Colbert had more modern machinery. In the early 1970s the Colbert underwent a deep modernization and Masurca anti-aircraft missiles were installed, as artillery had become obsolete against modern aircraft. In 1980, it was again modernized with the installation of Exocet anti-ship missiles that significantly improved its combat capacity. She only participated in one combat operation during her 32 years of service. In 1991 she was deployed in the Persian Gulf during “Operation Salamandre” and 6 months later she would be discharged without having fired a single shot in anger.
COLBERT cruiser gallery and more info