Durance-class tanker

The Durance class is a series of multi-product replenishment oilers, originally designed and built for service in the French Navy. Besides the five ships built for the French Navy, a sixth was built for the Royal Australian Navy, while the lead ship of the class currently serves with the Argentine Navy.

Meuse (A607) in the Arabian Sea, 2 March 2015
Class overview
Name: Durance
Operators:
Built: 1973–1990
Completed: 6
Active: 5
General characteristics
Type: Replenishment oiler
Displacement:
  • 7,600 tonnes (empty)
  • 17,800 tonnes (full load)
Length: 157.2 m
Beam: 21.2 m
Draught:
  • 8.65 metres (average)
  • 10.80 metres full load
Propulsion: 2 × Pielstick 16 PC2-5 V 400 diesel engines, two shafts (14,710 kW)[1]
Speed: 19 knots (35 km/h; 22 mph)
Range: 9,000 nautical miles (17,000 km; 10,000 mi) at 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph)
Boats & landing
craft carried:
Complement:
  • 8 officers
  • 62 non-commissioned officers
  • 89 sailors
Sensors and
processing systems:
2 x DRBN 34 radars
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
1 x SLQ-25 Nixie towed jammer
Armament:
Aviation facilities: Medium helicopter pad

They will be replaced under the FLOTLOG project by four derivatives of Italy's Vulcano Logistic Support Ship, scheduled to be delivered in 2022, 2025, 2027 and (subject to ratification of the next procurement plan) 2029.[2]

French Navy

Five ships of the class were built for the French Navy:

In French service, the ships are dubbed Bâtiment de commandement et ravitailleur (BCR, "command and replenishment ship"): in addition to their role as a fleet tanker, they can accommodate an entire general staff and thus supervise naval operations. Admiral Indian (Ocean), the French Navy's command for the Indian Ocean region ALINDIEN, was permanently stationed aboard such a ship until 2010.

Durance has been sold to the Argentine Navy; the remaining four vessels are still in service as of 2008. Three ships of the class (Marne, Somme, and Var) are fitted out as flagships and can embark an admiral and his staff. The 2013 French White Paper on Defence and National Security planned to replace them with four new double-hulled tankers between 2018 and 2021.[3] However Meuse will be decommissioned under budget cuts announced in October 2014.[4]

In October 2009, Somme repelled an attack by Somali pirates[5]

Royal Australian Navy

A single ship of the class was built by the Cockatoo Docks & Engineering Company in Australia for the Royal Australian Navy:

Argentine Navy

The leading ship of the class was sold to the Argentine Navy in 1999; she serves under the name ARA Patagonia (B-1)

Variant

The Boraida-class replenishment oilers for Saudi Arabia built by Ciotat shipyard in Marseille:

  • 902 Boraida – built 1982–1983 and entered service in 1984
  • 904 Yunbou – built 1983–1984 and entered service in 1985

References

Media related to Durance class tanker at Wikimedia Commons

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