French frigate Surcouf

For other ships with the same name, see French ship Surcouf.
Namesake: Robert Surcouf
Laid down: 6 July 1992
Launched: 3 July 1993
Commissioned: 7 February 1997
Honours and
Flies the FFL jack in honour of the submarine Surcouf
Fate: In active service
General characteristics
Class and type: La Fayette-class frigate
Displacement: 3200 tonnes, 3600 tonnes fully loaded
Length: 125 m (410 ft)
Beam: 15.4 m (51 ft)
Draught: 4.8 m (16 ft)
Propulsion: 4 diesel SEMT Pielstick 12PA6V280 STC2, 21000 hp (15 400 kW)
Speed: 25 knots (46 km/h)
Range: 7,000 nautical miles (13,000 km) at 15 knots (28 km/h), 9000 at 12 knots (22 km/h)
  • 12 officers
  • 68 non-commissioned officers
  • 61 men
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • 1 × Air/Surface DRBV 15C sentry radar
  • 1 × firing control radar for the 100 mm gun
  • 1 × DRBN34 navigation radar
  • 1 × DRBN34 landing radar
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
  • 1 × Saïgon ARBG 1 radio interceptor
  • 1 × ARBR 21 radar interceptor
  • 2 × Dagaie Mk2 chaff launcher
  • 1 × AN/SLQ-25 Nixie tugged noise maker
  • 1 × Prairie-Masker noise reduction system
  • 1 × Syracuse II
  • 1 × Inmarsat
Armour: On sensitive areas (munition magazine and control centre)
Aircraft carried: 1 × helicopter (Panther or NH90)

Surcouf (F711) is a La Fayette-class frigate of the French Navy. She was laid down at Lorient Naval Dockyard on 6 July 1992, launched 3 July 1993, and commissioned May 1996.

Since its commission, Surcouf has taken part in numerous missions, notably in Operation Antilope (Gabon and Congo), Operation Trident (Kosovo) and Mission Khor Anga in the Djibouti zone.

On 14 May 2001, Surcouf rendered to assistance to Marc Guillemot, skipper of Biscuits La Trinitaine-Team Ethypharm, who had to abandon his ship after her starboard hull was seriously damaged. The catamaran's crew of five were airlifted to safety by helicopter.

On 14 October 2004, Surcouf assisted Sara 2, a Panamanian cargo ship which ran aground near Yemen. The 16-man crew was successfully airlifted by the Panther helicopter, and later transferred from the frigate to the Yemeni coast guard.

Between 17–21 May 2008, Surcouf participated in Exercise KhunjarHaad, a multi-national exercise held in the Gulf of Oman. Other participating warships included the American destroyer USS Russell, the British frigate HMS Montrose, the British fleet replenishment tanker RFA Wave Knight and four other coalition ships conducted air defense; surface warfare operation; visit, board, search and seizure (VBSS); and joint gunnery exercises, which focused on joint interoperability training and proficiency.[1]

In November 2012 FS Surcouf deployed to the Horn of Africa as part of the European Union's Naval Operation in the area. A British Lynx HMA.8 helicopter of 815 Squadron was on board for the whole four-month deployment, along with 12 personnel including 2 Royal Marine snipers.[2] This was the first extended deployment of a Royal Navy helicopter on a French warship and is the result of a recent treaty between the United Kingdom and France to share military resources and conduct more joint operations.[2]



  1. Lt. (j.g.) Courtney Thraen, USN (August 8, 2008). "USS Momsen Visits Cyprus". NNS080805-04. USS Momsen Public Affairs. Retrieved 2010-12-27.
  2. 1 2 "From frigate to frégate… Lynx team joins French warship on deployment". Navy News. 19 October 2012.
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