FS Dupuy de Lôme Passed Through Turkish Straits

Today the French intelligence collection ship FS Dupuy de Lôme passed through Turkish Straits too, following the US destroyer USS Donald Cook.

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French spy ship FS Dupuy de Lôme passing through the Bosphorus. Photo: Kerim Bozkurt. Used with permission.

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French spy ship FS Dupuy de Lôme passing through the Bosphorus. Photo: Kerim Bozkurt. Used with permission.

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French spy ship FS Dupuy de Lôme passing through the Bosphorus. Photo: Kerim Bozkurt. Used with permission.

The French Navy has been usually active in last couple of weeks in this region:

On 28 March 2014, FS Alizé, diving support ship used by the French external intelligence agency passed through Turkish Straits. She took part in a naval exercise in Varna, Bulgaria. I have no idea about her present whereabouts, but she could be still in the Black Sea.

On 7 April 2014, FS Var, replenishment tanker arrived in Marmaris for a 3 day port visit.

On 14 April 2014 we expect the destroyer FS Dupleix to pass through the Turkish Straits.

But by far the intelligence gathering ship FS Dupuy de Lôme will be the most controversial one. She is fitted with COMINT and ELINT equipment.  Her helicopter pad might be used to launch and recover unmanned air vehicles which can carry additional intelligence gathering sensors. According to Jane’s Fighting Ship,  the ship is available for 350 days a year and active for 240 days.

May be France is better in making strategic communication at a level that can be correctly interpreted by Russians by sending two spy ships to the back yard of the Russians.

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FS Var In Marmaris

A-608 FS Var in Marmaris. Photo: yeniasir.com

A-608 FS Var in Marmaris. Photo: yeniasir.com

French Durance class underway replenishment tanker A-608 FS Var arrived in Marmaris in the morning hours on 5 April 2014.

Although it was not disclosed how long the ship will stay in Marmaris, it is safe to assume that the port visit will take at least 3 days. It was reported that FS Var is going back to France after completing her deployment for NATO’s Active Endeavor in Eastern Mediterranean.

French Warship FS Alizé Passed Through Bosphorus

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Mr. Kerim Bozkurt, an invaluable contributor to this blog also shared his photos of the FS Alizé as she passed through Bosphorus.

She is now in Varna, Bulgaria. According to The Voice of Russia she is going to take part in joint sea rescue exercises.

The photos below are taken from informative blog Sea Dog.

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French Warship FS Alizé Passed Through Dardanelles

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A-645 FS Alizé passing through the Dardanelles. Photo: elazighaberi.com

On 26 March 2014, French warship A-645 FS Alizé made a northbound passage through the Dardanelles.

According to news reports her destination was not disclosed but it is safe to assume that she is heading to the Black Sea.

She is a very peciluar ship to send to the Black Sea.

First of all she is not a front line combatant like a destroyer, frigate of corvette. She is a diving support ship, meaning that she carries all the necessary support equipment for diving operations and hyperbaric chamber and specialized medical facilities.

Second, if Wikipedia is correct she is mainly used for the operations of divers from Direction Générale de la Sécurité Extérieure. That’s France’s external intelligence agency

Now the million dollar question is why is France sending an auxiliary warship mainly tasked with supporting spy divers to the Black sea?

Here is a video of A-645 FS Alizé as she passes Çanakkale:
http://www.sondakika.com/haber/haber-fransiz-askeri-gemisi-canakkale-bogazi-ndan-gecti-5831330/

Cassard In Marmaris

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FS Cassard in exercise with USS George H.W. Bush.

The French frigate D-614 FS Cassard arrived in Marmaris for a port visit.

Before arriving in Marmaris, the French warship stationed in Eastern Mediterranean, conducted “PASSEX” exercise with the U.S. aircraft carrier USS George H. W. Bush.

Unlike her sister D-615 FS Jean Bart the main radar of FS Cassard has not been upgraded. She still has the original DRBJ 11B 3 D radar. This radar was replaced with a SMART-S Mk2 on FS Jean Bart.

French Navy Conducted Exercise With Greek Cypriot Coast Guard

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French frigate F-711 Surcouf conducted an exercise with Greek Cypriot Navy. Photo: Official French Navy photo.

The French, La Fayette class frigate F-711 FS Surcouf conducted PASSEX with Greek Cypriot Navy on 21 January 2014.

The coast guard vessel CV-24 Onisilos was the Cypriot contribution to the exercise.

The Surcouf sailed from Larnaca at 8:30 Tuesday, Jan. 21 after three days of release operational on the island.
This is far from the coast with 14 on board Cypriot policemen and two consuls within a day of joint exercises with the Cypriot navy.
The morning started off with Panther for winching on patrol Cypriot Onisillos , escorting the Surcouf few hundred yard.

Once the Panther in flight, the helicopter Cypriot participant to exercise, AW-139, had a winch load on the platform helicopter Surcouf before filing a
response team of the Cyprus Police climbing rope who then made a VISITEX (method methodical tour of a building by a specialized team) of Surcouf.
Finally, to close the morning, the helicopter performed a basketful SAR winching a diver aboard Surcouf and different maneuvers aviation.

In the early afternoon, a “SAREX” or exercise “search and rescue” involving the search for a man overboard was conducted by helicopter Cyprus in
coordination with the Surcouf. The visiting team of Surcouf then, in turn, produced a VISITEX on Onisillos .

FS Surcouf In Marmaris

F-711 FS Surcouf arrives in Marmaris. Photo: haber7.com

F-711 FS Surcouf arrives in Marmaris. Photo: haber7.com

The French La Fayette class frigate F-711 FS Surcouf arrived in Marmaris, yesterday.
The ship will leave on Monday and resume her duties in the Eastern Mediterranean.

On a lighter note the arrival of the French ship was published by many Turkish media portals as

The French Navy frigate Scout F711, conducting NATO duties, came in the morning to Marmaris.

It seems to write the correct name of the ship was an unbearable burden for the Turkish journalist originating the story, and the editors of the other news portals using the story did not bother to checking the facts.

Chevalier Paul In Marmaris

The French destroyer D-621 Chevalier Paul in Marmaris. Photo: DHA via haberler.com

The French destroyer D-621 Chevalier Paul in Marmaris. Photo: DHA via haberler.com

The second Forbin (Horizon) class destroyer of the French Navy D-621 FS Chevalier Paul arrived in Marmaris, Muğla for a 3 day port visit.

Toulon based warship, has been deployed in the Eastern Mediterranean since mid September.

Jean Bart In Istanbul

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D-615 FS Jean Bart arriving in Istanbul, on 30 April 2013

After visiting Novorossiysk and Varna, the French destroyer D-615 FS Jean Bart arrived for a 3 day visit.

FS jean Bart is very similar in operational capabilities with her 40 SM-1 MR surface to air missiles fired by the Mk-13 launcher and Smart Mk2 3D radar to the Turkish Navy Gabya class frigates.

She looks old and tired. Her crew must have a hard time in keeping her in good shape.

Jean Bart In Varna

D-615 FS Jean Bart in Varna.  Photo Nikolay Zvet. Used with permission.

D-615 FS Jean Bart in Varna. Photo Nikolay Zlatev. Used with permission.

As reported earlier, the French destroyer D-615 Jean Bart is continuing her Black Sea cruise. She was in Novorossiysk, Russia between 23 and 26th April. On 27 April she arrived in Varna Bulgaria, for a 2 or 3 day visit.

Bulgarian ship spotter and blogger Mr. Nikolay Zlatev has some excellent photos of Jean Bart in his website.

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