French frigate captures 35 pirates off Somalia
Here is a picture of France’s pirate hunter, dubbed a “frégate de surveillance“, which recently hauled in a total of 35 pirates off Somalia. Story from the BBC:
The French navy has captured 35 piracy suspects off Somalia’s coast – hailing it as the most successful mission since EU operations began in 2008. French officials said four mother ships and six smaller boats had been seized in four operations since last Friday. EU forces used helicopters and fired warning shots to capture the pirates, France’s defence ministry said…
The defence ministry said the Frigate Nivose was backed by an Italian vessel and Spanish aircraft during its three-day mission. The ministry did not specify where the action took place, but said 22 suspected pirates were held on Friday, two on Saturday and 11 more on Sunday.
Nivose is a Floréal class frigate, a class of 8 vessels built in the 1990s . Here are the specifications:
- Displacement-94 meters
- Length-14 meters
- Draft-4.3 meters
- Speed-20 knots
- Range-10,000 miles at 15 knots
- Armament-2 Exocet MM38 missiles
1 x 100 mm CADAM turret with Najir fire control system
2 x 20 mm modèle F2 guns
Hangar for 1 Panther helicopter
We applaud the continued use of such low-cost vessels like Nivose and the Danish Absalon, which appear to be doing better than the usual large missile cruisers, destroyers, and frigates that have been employed on the anti-pirate mission. We have a feeling it might be the sense of superiority the more expensive battleships might feel over their assumed “less capable” sisterships, so the “small boys” feel they have to work harder to prove themselves!
Regardless, well done and vive le France!