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French Navy's Third B2M Vessel Champlain Set Sails for Homeport in the Indian Ocean.

| 2017
Naval Forces News - France
French Navy's Third B2M Vessel Champlain Set Sails for Homeport in the Indian Ocean
The French Navy (Marine Nationale) announced that the B2M (for bâtiment multi-missions or multi-mission vessel) "Champlain" set sail for its homeport in Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean. The this vessel of the D'Entrecasteaux-class left Brest on May 2 2017. This new class of vessel intended for the overseas missions of sovereignty..
French Navy's Third B2M Vessel Champlain Set Sails for Homeport in the Indian Ocean Champlain leaving Brest to join its homeport in the Indian Ocean. Picture: French Navy
First ship of the class D'Entrecasteaux was commissioned in April 2016 and joined its home port of Noumea in New Caledonia.

The second B2M Bougainville was delivered to the French Navy in September last year and recently joined its naval base in Tahiti in the Pacific (home base of the French Navy Pacific Fleet "ALPACI").

The third vessel of the class Champlain was delivered to the French Navy in December 2016. Reunion is the former base of the French Navy Indian Ocean Fleet "ALINDIEN" which has since been moved to Abu Dhabi; A relatively large French Navy presence remains on Reunion Island however.

Given the capacities of the class, Defense Minister Jean-Yves le Drian decided in 2015, to update military planning law and order a fourth ship, destined for the French West Indies. It will be delivered in the second half of 2018 by Kership, co-owned by Piriou shipyard and DCNS.
French Navy's Third B2M Vessel Champlain Set Sails for Homeport in the Indian Ocean DCNS Infographics
About B2M
These vessels are designed to ensure the overseas missions of sovereignty: presence, monitoring and protection of French interests in exclusive economic zones, projection forces, logistical support and backup and support for the populations. They are replacing the ageing BATRAL-class landing ships and P400 patrol vessels.

The class has a top speed of 12 to 15 knots. They have a long endurance of approximately 30 days of operation without replenishment. They carry a work boat of about 8 metres long and semi-rigid boats, and will have a crane for loading and unloading containers. They will also be capable of deploying divers and carrying weapons and munitions.

According to the French Procurement Agency (DGA), these vessels:
- have the ability to project 20 personnel (joint, police or gendarmerie) with two 4x4 vehicles along with their weapons and ammunition.
- will ensure the evacuation of citizens and have the ability to deploy and support divers and equipment (including drones) to conduct underwater interventions.
- Under the state action at sea, they will provide fisheries police missions, and contribute to the fight against illegal immigration, drug trafficking and piracy.
- They will assist ships in distress and participate in safeguarding people and property, through their firefighting means and towing capacity of up to 30 tons

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