BPC Dixmude, the third Mistral class force projection and command vessel for the French Navy, has been delivered to the Direction Générale de l’Armement (DGA). The ship was handed over to the French defence procurement agency three months ahead of the initial contract schedule.
The DGA ordered Dixmude in April 2009 under the French government’s economic stimulus package. Built to merchant marine standards, the helicopter landing platform was jointly constructed by STX France and DCNS, with lessons having been learnt from co-operation on earlier vessels of the class resulting in the prompt conclusion of the project.
Saint-Nazaire-based STX France coordinated industrial operations and built the hull and propulsion system, as well as installing shipboard equipment. After sea trials, Dixmude returned to Toulon in July 2011 for DCNS to integrate and test the ship’s systems. Once she enters service later in the year, FS Dixmude will adopt the training role carried out by the helicopter cruiser Jeanne d’Arc.