French frigate Nivôse (F732)

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For other ships of the same name, see French ship Nivôse.
Frigate Nivôse
Frigate Nivôse
Career (France)
Name: Nivôse
Namesake: Month of Nivôse
Ordered: 1989
Builder: Chantiers de l'Atlantique
Laid down: 16 January 1991
Launched: 11 August 1991
Commissioned: 15 October 1992
Homeport: Port des Galets, La Réunion
General characteristics
Class & type: Floréal-class frigate
Displacement: 2600 tonnes (2950 tonnes full load)
Length: 93.5 m (307 ft)
Beam: 14 m (46 ft)
Draught: 4.4 m (14 ft)
Propulsion: Engines : 4 diesel SEMT Pielstick 6PA6 L280

Auxiliaries : 1 Ulstein 200 kW beam propulsor (?)
Propellers : 2 variable pace "Lips"
Propulsive power : 8800 hp (6470 kW)
Electric Plant : 3 Baudouin 12P15 2SR diesel alternators and 3 Alsthom AA 49L9 alternators

Electric Power : 3 × 590 kW
Speed: 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph)
Range: 10,000 nautical miles (19,000 km; 12,000 mi) at 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph)
13,000 nautical miles (24,000 km; 15,000 mi) at 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph)
Boats & landing
craft carried:
ETN 90 (Embarcation de Transport en Nombre)

Zodiac Hurricane 530 OB with two Yamaha 2T 140 CV VETOL engines

One 10-seat zodiac
Complement: 11 officers

36 non-commissioned officers
42 men

(11 men for the helicopter)
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • DRBV-21C (Mars) air sentry radar
  • Racal Decca RM1290 navigation radar
  • Racal Decca RM1290 landing radar


  • Microcin type intertial navigation system
  • Ben LMN4 loch
  • Furuno depth measure system
  • Navstar GPS system
  • Taiyo gonio VHF radio
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
ARBG-1A Saïgon
2 Dagaie decoy systems
Armament: 2 Exocet MM38 missile launchers

1 × 100 mm CADAM turret with Najir fire control system

2 × 20 mm modèle F2 guns
Aircraft carried: 1 Panther helicopter

The Nivôse is a light surveillance frigate ("frégate de surveillance") of the French Marine Nationale. She is the third ship of the Floréal class, and the fourth French vessel named after the 4th month of the Republican Calendar.


  • 2001

In October 2001, she was deployed in the Persian Gulf as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.[1]

  • 2008

In late 2008, under frigate captain Jean-Marc Le Quilliec,[2] Nivôse was deployed as part of a European Union expeditionary force, Operation Atalanta, in the Gulf of Aden to fight piracy off Somalia.[3]

  • 2009 On 15 April 2009, she captured eleven pirates 900 km (560 mi) East of Mombasa, and thwarted an attack on the Liberian-registered merchantman Safmarine Asia.[4][5]

On 12 April 2009, Nivôse relieved her sister-ship Floréal as part of European Union Naval Force Somalia – Operation ATALANTA. On 3 May 2009, 900 km off Somalia, the crew managed to lure pirates to attack the ship by sailing into the sun to avoid being identified and mistaken for a merchantman; as the pirate closed in, she turned about and launched her on-boarded helicopter and fast outboard vessels. Eleven pirates were captured.[6][7][8]

  • 2010

From 5 to 7 March 2010, joining mission forces from France, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain and Sweden, Nivôse secured its "biggest seizure" so far in the vital shipping lane, with 35 pirates arrested and four mother ships seized in three days off Somalia.[9]


  • On 30 September 2014, Nivôse was severely damaged by fire which broke out in her engine room. Floréal assisted in firefighting operations. Nivôse was subsequently towed in to Port de la Pointe des Galets.[10]

Photo gallery[edit]

Sources and references[edit]

  1. ^ Histoire et actualités de la frégate Nivôse,
  2. ^ Piraterie : une nuit d'alerte sur le Nivôse, Le Monde, 2 December 2008
  3. ^ Suspected pirates rescued in Gulf of Aden, CNN, 5 December 2008
  4. ^ [1], BBC News, 15 April 2009
  5. ^ French capture 11 suspected pirates; Greek ship freed, CNN
  6. ^ Pirates seized after threatening French navy ship, CNN, 3 May 2009
  7. ^ Somalie : la marine française capture onze pirates,
  8. ^ Somali pirate suspects captured, BBC, 3 May 2009
  9. ^ "European naval forces capture more pirates". Independent Online (South Africa). 9 Mar 2010. Retrieved 9 Mar 2010. Six pirate action groups have been intercepted, mother ships and skiffs have been destroyed and over 40 pirates have been taken into custody 
  10. ^ "French Frigate Extensively Damaged by Violent Fire". World Maritime News. Retrieved 6 October 2014.