What was so far halfway between rumor and logical deduction has been confirmed today by Commander Ghislain Deleplanque in charge of the protection and security office of the French Navy. The 10 new Oceanic Patrollers which will replace the A69-class Offshore Patrollers from 2025 will therefore indeed be equipped with a 40 mm RapidFire cannon. This close protection system will allow ships to ensure, in addition to their protection against light and medium naval targets, but also against drones, helicopters, fighter planes operating at low altitude, as well as grazing trajectory anti-ship missiles. .
It is therefore the second class of ships destined to enter service soon within the French Navy to receive the RapidFire to ensure their self-defense, after the 4 tankers built in cooperation with the Italian Fincantieri, and identified by the French Navy under the name Bâtiment de Ravitaillement de la Force, or BRF. The ships, which must be delivered between 2022 and 2029 by the Saint-Nazaire shipyards, will effectively be equipped with this system to ensure their close protection. It is also a question of equipping the future Mine Hunters of the French Navy, who will have to replace the Eridan class ships in service since the mid-80s.
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