French frigate Chevalier Paul D621 in Barcelona (Catalonia, Spain)

Chevalier Paul is a Horizon-class frigate of the French Marine Nationale commissioned in June 2009, the third vessel of the French Navy named after the 17th century admiral Chevalier Paul. The main mission of this type of ship is the escort and protection of a carrier strike group formed around an aircraft carrier, usually Charles de Gaulle or one of the aircraft carriers of the US Navy, or an amphibious operation carried out by amphibious helicopter carriers.

The ship’s specialty is air traffic control in a war zone, but it can be employed in a wide variety of missions, such as intelligence-gathering, special forces operations, or in protecting less well-armed vessels. Horizon-class frigates such as Chevalier Paul are the most powerful surface combatants that France has ever built.

In service since the end of 2011, it bears the pennant number D621. Its namesake is Jean-Paul de Saumeur, better known as Chevalier Paul, a French naval officer born in Marseille in 1598.

Aster missile

Aster missiles are the main weapon system of Chevalier Paul. The ship is equipped with 32 Aster 30 missiles and 16 Aster 15 missiles, housed in vertical silos of the Sylver A50 type, located on the foredeck. A main anti-air missile system (PAAMS), combined with an EMPAR multifunction radar operating in C-band, controls launch and target tracking.

The first launch of an Aster 30 against a target from sister ship Forbin took place in November 2008 at Toulon. It was the first fire of this machine since a frigate. The previous Aster 30 launches from the sea were carried out from a British barge and the Italian test ship Carabiniere. The missile was fired at an aerial target from the evolving building off the DGA’s Le Levant test and launch center . The Aster 30 missiles of the air defense frigate are the second bulwark of protection of the carrier strike group, after the Rafale fighters, and provide 360° protection at a distance of 100 kilometers against aircraft and 30 kilometers against grazing and maneuvering anti-ship anti-ship missiles in service or in development. The French Navy has shown with the frigate Forbin its capacity to destroy a supersonic missile ( 3,000 km / h ) maneuvering ( SS-N-22, AS-17, BrahMos ) and at an altitude of less than 5 meters above water by shooting down a GQM-163 Coyote.

Exocet MM40 Block 3C

Chevalier Paul embarks eight sea-sea Exocet missiles installed on the upper deck amidships. The most recent version MM40 Block 3C of the Exocet missile was selected. It can operate at a distance of more than 180 kilometers from its objective.

Builder: Naval group and Thales Group, Lorient shipyard.

Naval Group is a major French industrial group specializing in naval defense design, development and construction. Its headquarters are located in Paris.

Heir to the French naval dockyards initiated in 1631 by Cardinal Richelieu and to the Direction des Constructions et Armes Navales (DCAN), which became Direction des Constructions Navales (DCN) in 1991 and then DCNS in 2007, the company was rebranded Naval Group in 2017. Its two main shareholders are the French State (62.49%) and Thales Group (35%).

Naval Group employs nearly 16,000 people across 18 countries.

Read more: History of shipbuilding with Oliver Davis ...