Foudre class
Class overview
Name: Foudre class
Preceded by: Ouragan class
Succeeded by: Mistral class
Completed: 2
Active: 2
General characteristics
Type: Landing platform dock
  • 11,300 tonnes (standard)
  • 12,000 tonnes (full load)
Length: 168 m (551 ft)
Beam: 23.5 m (77 ft)
Draught: 5.2 m (17 ft)
Installed power: 20,800 hp (15,500 kW)
  • Engines: 2 SEMT Pielstick 16 PC 2.5 V400 diesels
  • Propellers: 2 adjustable-blade propellers and one beam propeller
  • Auxiliaries: 1 beam propeller (1,000 hp)
  • Electrical plant:5 SACM-Unidiesel diesels alternators
  • Electrical power: 4,250 kW (5 × 850 kW)
Speed: 21 knots (39 km/h)
Range: 20,300 kilometres (10,961 nmi; 12,614 mi) at 15 knots (28 km/h)
Boats & landing
craft carried:
8 landing craft
Capacity: 150-man command headquarters
Troops: 450 (900 for a short cruise)
  • 20 officers
  • 80 petty officers
  • 60 Quarter-masters
Aircraft carried: 4 Super Puma EC225 or 2 Aérospatiale SA 321 Super Frelon (French Navy)
Aviation facilities: Hangar

The Foudre-class landing platform dock was a class of landing platform docks designed and used by the French Navy. The vessels have operated from 1990 until the present. In 2011 Foudre was sold to the Chilean Navy. Siroco was sold to the Brazilian Navy in 2015.


The Foudre class was designed to load a mechanized regiment aboard and act as its logistical support vessel once in theatre.[1] Each ship of the class displaces 11,300 tonnes at standard load and 12,000 tonnes at full load. The vessels are 168 m (551 ft) long with a beam of 23.5 m (77 ft) and a draught of 5.2 m (17 ft).

The Foudre class carry large stowage areas which can be used to ferry battle tanks and vehicles, a 52-ton elevating platform, a lateral ramp and a flight deck able to simultaneously operate several helicopters. Three rotations of such ships can ferry a whole armoured regiment with its 22 AMX-30 or Leclerc battle tanks, 44 AMX 10 RC heavy armoured cars, 22 véhicules de l'Avant Blindé, 41 all-terrain light vehicles (including 16 MILAN anti-tank missile systems), 54 TRM 4000 trucks, 15 TRM 2000 light trucks, 5 fuel trucks, 2 tug trucks, 6 120 mm mortars, 67 towed containers and one beach carpeting system, overall 3300 tonnes.

A rear view of the well deck.

The hull is built around a well deck which constitutes three-quarters of the length of the ship, and can accommodate up to eight landing craft. The landing craft can be put to sea by filling ballast tanks and lowering the ship, and opening the rear door.

The aeronautical installations allow all-weather operations of transport helicopters, intended to carry commandos. 4 Super-Puma or 2 Super-Frelon helicopters can be accommodated in the hangar.


The Foudre class is equipped with two SEMT Pielstick 16 PC 2.5 V400 diesels connected to two adjustable-blade propellers and one beam propeller. There is an auxiliary beam propeller (1,000 hp). This gives the ships a speed of 21 knots (39 km/h) and an effective range of 20,300 kilometres (12,614 mi) at 15 knots (28 km/h).

The electrical plant consists of five SACM-Unidiesel diesels alternators creating 4,250 kW (5 × 850 kW) of electrical power.


Ships of the Foudre class are supplied with three surface-to-air Mistral systems for air defence. They are also equipped with three 30 mm Breda-Mauser guns and four 12.7 mm M2-HB Browing machine guns.

Service history

In 1999, Siroco was deployed to East Timor as part of the International Force for East Timor.[1]


In June 2010, French defence minister Hervé Morin offered Foudre to the Argentine Navy during his visit to Buenos Aires.[2] Argentina had already declined the transfer of the Ouragan class in the past and is more interested in seeking French support for a locally built amphibious ship instead.[3]

In October 2011 it was announced that Chile and France had finalized negotiations for sale of Foudre to Chile for around USD80 million.[4]

In December 2011 Foudre entered service in the Chilean Navy as Sargento Aldea. The 2013 French White Paper on Defence and National Security said that Siroco would be decommissioned, a decision confirmed in October 2014.[5]


Foudre-class landing platform docks[1]
Name Number Laid down Launched Builder Commissioned Fate
Foudre L 9011 26 March 1986 19 November 1988 DCN Brest 7 December 1990 sold 2011 to Chile, renamed Sargento Aldea
Siroco L 9012 2 October 1994 14 December 1996 DCN Brest 21 December 1998 sold 2015 to Brazil, renamed Bahia

See also


  1. ^ a b c Saunders, p.239
  2. ^ Francia ofrece un buque de transporte anfibio a Argentina
  3. ^ Argentina y Francia hablan de cooperan en la construcción de buque anfibio y la modernización de aviones y helicópteros
  4. ^ "Chile, Navy decides on ex-French LSD vessel". Defence Market Intelligence. 8 October 2011. Archived from the original on 5 April 2012. Retrieved 21 September 2014.
  5. ^ "Défense : Le Drian détaille les 7 500 postes supprimés dans l'armée". francetvinfo. 15 October 2014. Retrieved 7 November 2014.
  • Saunders, Stephen (ed.). Jane's Fighting Ships, 2004-2005 (107 ed.). Surrey: Jane's Information Group. ISBN 0-7106-2623-1.

External links

  • Naval-Technology