French frigate Vendémiaire

Vendémiaire is a light patrol frigate ("frégate de surveillance") of the French Marine Nationale. She is the fifth ship of the Floréal class, and is named after Vendémiaire, the first month of the Republican Calendar.

Frigate Vendémiaire in 2013
Name: Vendémiaire
Namesake: Month of Vendémiaire
Ordered: 1989
Builder: Chantiers de l'Atlantique
Laid down: 17 January 1992
Launched: 23 August 1992
Commissioned: 21 October 1993
Homeport: Nouméa
Status: in service
General characteristics
Class and type: Floréal-class frigate
Displacement: 2600 tonnes (2950 tonnes full load)
Length: 93.5 m (307 ft)
Beam: 14 metres (46 ft)
Draught: 4.4 m (14 ft)
  • Engines : 4 diesel SEMT Pielstick 6PA6 L280
  • Auxiliaries : 1 Ulstein 200 kW beam propulsor
  • Propellers : 2 variable pace Lips
  • Propulsive power : 8800 hp (6470 kW)
  • Electric Plant : 3 Baudouin 12P15 2SR diesel alternators and 3 Alsthom AA 49L9 alternators
  • Electric Power : 3 × 590 kW
Speed: 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph)
Range: 10,000 nautical miles (19,000 km; 12,000 mi) at 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph), 13,000 nautical miles (24,000 km; 15,000 mi) at 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph)
Boats & landing
craft carried:
  • ETN 90 (Embarcation de Transport en Nombre)
  • Zodiac Hurricane 530 OB with two Yamaha 2T 140 CV VETOL engines
  • One 10-seat zodiac
  • 11 officers
  • 36 non-commissioned officers
  • 42 men
  • (11 men for the helicopter)
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • Radar:
  • DRBV-21C (Mars) air sentry radar
  • Racal Decca RM1290 navigation radar
  • Racal Decca RM1290 landing radar
  • Navigation
  • Microcin type intertial navigation system
  • Ben LMN4 loch
  • Furuno depth measure system
  • Navstar GPS system
  • Taiyo gonio VHF radio
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
  • ARBG-1A Saïgon
  • 2 Dagaie decoy systems
Aircraft carried: 1 Alouette III helicopter

Operational history

Vendémiaire was deployed to East Timor as part of the Australian-led INTERFET peacekeeping taskforce from 20 September to 17 November 1999.[1]

Vendémiaire and her sister-ship Nivôse are reasonably frequent visitors to Wellington.

The ship went on a tour of Communist Chinese ports in 2011, stopping at Canton, Chiang Tao, Hong Kong and Shanghai.[2] It was opened to the public 17 April 2011 in Hong Kong.

In October 2013 participated in the International Fleet Review 2013 in Sydney.

In 2015, following Cyclone Pam France ordered Vendémiaire to sail from Nouméa, New Caledonia, to Vanuatu to conduct surveys along with aircraft from the island territory.[3]

In August 2016 it visited Auckland on a goodwill mission and again in January 2017.

On 6 April 2019, Vendémiaire sailed through the Taiwan Strait, shadowed by Chinese naval forces.[4] On Thursday, China issued a diplomatic protest at Vendémiaire allegedly violating Chinese territorial waters; France holds that the Taiwan Strait is international waters and claims a right to Freedom of navigation.[5][6] Vendémiaire was subsequently absent at the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the People's Liberation Army Navy at Qingdao, which she had been scheduled to attend.[7][8]


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