:: SUFFREN (1965) ::

Suffren missile destroyer (1965) High resolution picture

The Suffren, launched in 1965, was the first French destroyer armed with missiles. The two ships of the Suffren class inaugurated a new generation of French warships fitted with advanced armament and electronics. They mounted two 100-millimeter cannons at prow, a Malafon antisubmarine missile launcher amidships, a Masurca antiaircraft missile launcher in the quarterdeck and a variable-depth sonar astern; in 1977-1979 Exocet antiship missiles replaced the 30-millimeter cannons installed in the aft superstructure.

There were as well four catapults for antisubmarine torpedoes but the lack of a flight deck was an important drawback of the project. Both ships were easily recognizable because of the huge fiberglass globe which housed a three-dimensional radar DRBI 23. In the aft superstructure there were two tracking radars for the only surface-to-air missile system installed. The propulsion was of conventional type based on steam turbines; gas turbines should not be adopted in French warships until they were well tested by other nations. The exhaust was made through the very mast.

The picture shows the Suffren as she was originally, fitted with the two 30-millimeter antiaircraft cannons; note the tall mast-stack or "mack" and the housing of the hull sonar. The Suffren remained in service until 2001 and her sister Duquesne until 2007.

Class: Suffren (2 units - Duquesne, Suffren)

Type: Missile destroyer

Length: 157.6 meters

Beam: 15.5 meters

Draught: 6.1 meters

Displacement (standard): 5170 tonnes

Propulsion: 2 x shaft, 4 x steam turbine Rateau, 4 x oil boiler Indret, 72500 horsepower

Speed: 34 knots (63 kilometers/hour)

Range: 4290 nautical miles (7945 kilometers) at 18 knots

Complement: 360

Armament (as built): 2 x 100-millimeter 55-caliber cannon, 2 x 30-millimeter cannon, 1 x Masurca SAM twin launcher, 1 x Malafon ASW launcher, 4 x 533-millimeter ASW torpedo catapult

Armament (in 1980): 2 x 100-millimeter 55-caliber cannon, 4 x Exocet SSM launcher, 1 x Masurca SAM twin launcher, 1 x Malafon ASW launcher, 4 x 533-millimeter ASW torpedo catapult

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