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The Cassard class (Type F70 AA) is a class of anti-air warfare destroyers of the French Navy. The class is an air defence variant of the Georges Leygues class. The two classes have a different armament and propulsion system mounted on an identical hull. Their primary role is to provide air cover for a fleet, an aeronaval group, a convoy & a littoral point. Their secondary role is to manage air assets coordination & aircraft control for the force, especially through Link 16.They can also be used for research, identification or presence missions. Both ships are assigned to the Force d'Action Navale.
|Succeeded by:||Aquitaine class (air-defence variant)|
|Displacement:||4,500 tons, 5,000 full load|
|Length:||139 m (456 ft)|
|Beam:||14 m (46 ft)|
|Draught:||6.5 m (21 ft)|
|Speed:||29.5 knots (54.6 km/h; 33.9 mph)|
|Range:||8,000 nmi (15,000 km; 9,200 mi) at 17 kn (31 km/h; 20 mph)|
|Sensors and |
|Electronic warfare |
|Thomson-CSF ARBB-33 jammer|
|Aircraft carried:||1 × Eurocopter AS 565 Panther anti-submarine helicopter|
The experience gained during the design and construction of the Cassard type was used for the design of the La Fayette class.
The Cassard-class frigate was initially designed to replace the four T 47-class anti-air warfare vessels in service at the time. Initially procured with four ships in the class, (the third and fourth hulls authorized for construction in 1983), the class was cut back to two vessels after the United States chose to terminate the production of the Standard SM-1MR missile. The prolonged design period led to the plans being redrawn several times.
The class shares a common hull design with the Georges Leygues class. The superstructure is composed of a lightweight aluminum alloy that is resistant to fire and corrosion. However the adoption of a similar propulsion system was abandoned early on. The hot exhaust from the Olympus turbines found on the Georges Leygues class was thought to be incompatible with the numerous arrays required in the new design. The ships are crewed by 244 personnel but can accommodate 251.
The class carries one anti-submarine helicopter on a deck placed aft with a hangar provided for storage. Originally supplied with a Eurocopter AS 565 Panther, they were later replaced with the Westland Lynx. The SAMAHE 210 helicopter handling system is adaptable to different types of undercarriages on helicopters and had munitions trucks to position weapon loadouts to assist the arming of the helicopters.
The Cassard class is powered by four SEMT Pielstick 18 PA6V 280 BTC diesels creating a sustained 43,200 hp (32,200 kW) driving two shafts. This gives the ships a maximum speed of 29.5 kn (54.6 km/h; 33.9 mph) and a range of 8,000 nmi (15,000 km; 9,200 mi) at 17 kn (31 km/h; 20 mph). The SEMT Pielstick diesels are capable of double super-charging. The engines are placed upon flexible mountings reducing the noise signature of the ship.
The Cassard frigates are armed with one Mk 13 launcher for the 40 Standard SM-1MR anti-air missiles. The missiles have semi-active rader homing out to 46 km (29 mi) at Mach 2 with a ceiling limit of 18,288 m (60,000 ft). The Mk 13 single arm launchers and SPG 51 tracker/illuminators were taken off the T 47 destroyers Bouvet and Kersaint and refurbished.
The Cassard's are also provided with two Sadral sextuple launchers for 39 Mistral CIWS anti-air missiles. The Mistrals have infrared homing out to 4 km (2.5 mi) and have a 3 kg (6.6 lb) warhead. They are anti-sea skimmer missiles and are able to engage incoming targets down to 10 ft (3.0 m) above sea level.
For anti-ship weaponry, the class is provided with eight MM40 Exocet anti-ship missiles. The MM40 Exocet missiles are sea-skimmers with a warhead of 165 kg (364 lb) and have a range of 70 km (43 mi) at Mach 0.9. The frigates also have two fixed torpedo tubes for ten L5 mod 4 torpedoes. These torpedoes have active and passive homing with a range of 9.5 km (5.9 mi) at 35 kn (65 km/h; 40 mph). They carry a 150 kg (330 lb) warhead and can travel to a depth of 550 m (1,800 ft).
The Cassard class is armed with a Creusot-Loire Compact 100 mm/55 Mod 68 DP gun. The gun can fire 80 rounds per minute out to 17 km (11 mi) in an anti-surface role and 8 km (5.0 mi) against aerial targets. Initially the class was designed to have a second 100 mm main gun on the quarterdeck, however during the design phase the guns were removed and replaced with the helicopter hangar and two Sadral launchers. The vessels are also supplied with two 20 mm F2 anti-aircraft guns and four 12.7mm machine guns.
- 1 DRBV26C sentry radar
- 1 Thales SMART-S MK2 (replacing DRBJ11B) 
- 1 DIBV2A infra-red alert system
- 2 DRBN34 navigation and landing radar
- 1 DUBV 24C hull sonar
- Syracuse II satellite communication system
- 1 ARBR 17 radar detector
- 1 SAIGON radio emission detector
- 1 ARBB 33 jammer
- 2 SAGAIE NG decoy launchers
- 2 DAGAIE decoy launchers
Ships in classEdit
|Name||Pennant number||Laid down||Launched||Commissioned||Fate|
|Cassard||D 614||3 September 1982||6 February 1985||28 July 1988||15 March 2019|
|Jean Bart||D 615||12 March 1986||19 March 1988||21 September 1991||In service|
They will be decommissioned with the arrival of FREDA air defence frigates 2020-2022.
- Miller, David; Chris Miller (1986). Modern Naval Combat. USA: Salamandar Books. pp. 100–101. ISBN 0-517-61350-6.
- Gardiner and Chumbly, p.115
- Saunders, p.230
- "French Navy Frigate, Aircraft Carrier to be fitted with new Thales SMART-S Mk2 radar in 2013". Navy Recognition. Retrieved 12 December 2012.
- Gardiner, Robert; Chumbley, Stephen & Budzbon, Przemysław (1995). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1947-1995. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-132-7.
- Saunders, Stephen (ed.). Jane's Fighting Ships, 2004-2005 (107 ed.). Surrey: Jane's Information Group. ISBN 0-7106-2623-1.
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