D'Estienne d'Orves-class aviso

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Lieutenant de vaisseau Lavallée.jpg
The aviso Lieutenant de vaisseau Lavallée
Class overview
NameD'Estienne d'Orves class or A69 type
Preceded byCommandant Rivière class
Succeeded by
Laid up3
General characteristics
  • 1,100 t (1,100 long tons) standard
  • 1,270 t (1,250 long tons) full load
  • 80 m (262 ft 6 in) oa
  • 76 m (249 ft 4 in) pp
Beam10.3 m (33 ft 10 in)
Draught5.3 m (17 ft 5 in)
Speed23.5 knots (43.5 km/h; 27.0 mph)
Range4,500 nmi (8,300 km; 5,200 mi) at 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph)
Sensors and
processing systems
  • 1 Air/surface DRBV 51A sentry radar
  • 1 DRBC 32E fire control radar
  • 1 Decca 1226 navigation radar
  • 1 DUBA 25 hull sonar (removed from French vessels when reclassified as OPVs)[1]
Electronic warfare
& decoys
  • 1 ARBR 16 radar interceptor
  • 2 Dagaie decoy launchers
  • 1 SLQ-25 Nixie countermeasure system

The D'Estienne d'Orves-class avisos, also known as the A69 type avisos, is a class of avisos, comparable in size to a light corvette, mainly designed for coastal anti-submarine defence, but are also available for high sea escort missions (notably in support missions with the FOST). Built on a simple and robust design, they have an economical and reliable propulsion system which allows them to be used for overseas presence missions. They were initially intended for use by the French Navy, but have been ordered by the South African Navy (not delivered), Argentinian Navy and Turkish Navy.

Design and description[edit]

The D'Estienne d'Orves-class avisos were primarily designed for anti-submarine warfare (ASW) in coastal areas and colonial coastal patrol.[2][3] They were ordered as replacements for the E 50 and E 52 type escorteurs of the French Navy. The ships are built austerely and have a standard displacement of 1,100 tonnes (1,100 long tons) and 1,270 tonnes (1,250 long tons) at full load. The avisos are 80 metres (262 ft 6 in) long overall and 76 metres (249 ft 4 in) between perpendiculars with a beam of 10.3 metres (33 ft 10 in) and a draught of 5.3 metres (17 ft 5 in).[3]

The avisos are propelled by two shafts turning controllable pitch propellers powered by two SEMT Pielstick 12 PC 2 V400 diesel engines rated at 8,900 kilowatts (12,000 bhp). The two engines are located in a single engine room mounted next to each other and controlled from a room abaft the machinery room. The two diesel engine system was selected due to the preference of endurance over speed. The D'Estienne d'Orves class has a maximum speed of 23.5 knots (43.5 km/h; 27.0 mph) and a range of 4,500 nautical miles (8,300 km; 5,200 mi) at 15 knots (28 km/h; 17 mph). All ships in the class are fitted with fin stabilisers except for Commandant Ducuing and Commandant Birot.[2][3]

The class was intended to be constructed in two groups, the A 69 and A 70 types, with the latter type fitted with two Exocet MM38 surface-to-surface missiles (SSM) on either side of the funnel, but in the end, all ships of the class were fitted with the SSMs. The ships are armed with a 100 mm (3.9 in) CADAM gun turret with Najir fire control system and CMS LYNCEA, a pair of 20 mm (0.8 in) modèle F2 guns and four 12.7 mm (0.5 in) machine guns. For ASW operations, the D'Estienne d'Orves class mounts four fixed catapults for L3 or L5 type torpedoes with no reloads carried and one remote-controlled sextuple 375 mm (14.8 in) rocket launcher, with 30 reloads carried in a magazine located beneath the aft deckhouse.[3]

The D'Estienne d'Orves class is equipped with one air/surface DRBV 51A sentry radar, one DRBC 32E fire control radar one Decca 1226 navigation radar and DUBA 25 hull-mounted sonar. The DUBA 25 is situated in a fixed dome with a retractable transducer, but is designed strictly for use in coastal waters. As countermeasures the avisos have one ARBR 16 radar interceptor, two Dagaie decoy launchers and one SLQ-25 Nixie countermeasure system, which was fitted in the mid-1980s. The ships have a complement of 90 and have space to accommodate 18 marines.[3][4]


Beyond the Nixie countermeasure system, the funnels aboard the avisos were heightened due to issues with the gases coming from them. Commandant L'Herminier had SEMT Pielstick 12 PA 6 BTC diesels with infrared suppression systems installed which led to delays into the vessel's entry into service. In 1993, Commandant Blaison and Enseigne de vaisseau Jacoubert had their rocket launchers removed and a Syracuse II satcom terminal installed. Plans were drawn up to give the two ships a hangar and flight deck for helicopters, but this was abandoned.[3]

From 2009, the remaining vessels in French service were reclassified as offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) and, as a result, had their surface-to-surface missiles and heavy anti-submarine weapons removed.[1] All six remaining vessels in the class are planned to be withdrawn from service between 2024 and 2027.[5]

Replacement of these vessels in French service is currently planned from about 2026 by a new class of patrol vessels.[6][7][8]

Ships in the class[edit]

French Navy construction data[3]
Pennant no. Name Builder Laid down Launched Commissioned Status
F 781 D'Estienne d'Orves Arsenal de Lorient, Lorient, France 1 September 1972 1 June 1973 10 September 1976 Decommissioned 1999, transferred to Turkey as TCG Beykoz (F-503)
F 782 Amyot d'Inville 1 September 1973 30 November 1974 13 October 1976 Decommissioned 1999, transferred to Turkey as TCG Bartın (F-504)
F 783 Drogou 1 October 1973 30 November 1974 30 September 1976 Decommissioned 2000, transferred to Turkey as TCG Bodrum (F-501)
F 784 Détroyat 15 December 1974 31 January 1976 4 May 1977 Decommissioned 1997, scrapped at Ghent, Belgium in 2015
F 785 Jean Moulin 15 January 1975 31 January 1976 11 May 1977 Decommissioned 1999, scrapped at Ghent, Belgium in 2015
F 786 Quartier-Maître Anquetil 1 August 1975 7 August 1976 4 February 1978 Decommissioned 2000, transferred to Turkey as TCG Bandırma (F-502)
F 787 Commandant de Pimodan 1 September 1975 7 August 1976 20 May 1978 Decommissioned 2000, transferred to Turkey as TCG Bozcaada (F-500)
F 788 Second-Maître Le Bihan 1 November 1976 13 August 1977 7 July 1979 Decommissioned 2002, transferred to Turkey as TCG Bafra (F-505)
F 789 Lieutenant de vaisseau Le Hénaff March 1977 16 September 1978 13 February 1980 Decommissioned 2020[9]
F 790 Lieutenant de vaisseau Lavallée 11 November 1977 29 May 1979 16 August 1980 Decommissioned 2018
F 791 Commandant L'Herminier 7 May 1979 7 March 1981 19 January 1986 Decommissioned 2018
F 792 Premier-Maître L'Her 15 December 1978 28 June 1980 15 December 1981 In service; retirement planned in 2024[5]
F 793 Commandant Blaison 15 November 1979 7 March 1981 28 April 1982 In service; retirement planned in 2027[5]
F 794 Enseigne de vaisseau Jacoubet April 1979 29 September 1981 23 October 1982 In service; retirement planned in 2026[5]
F 795 Commandant Ducuing 1 October 1980 26 September 1981 17 March 1983 In service; retirement planned in 2025[5]
F 796 Commandant Birot 23 March 1981 22 May 1982 14 March 1984 In service; retirement planned in 2025[5]
F 797 Commandant Bouan (ex-Commandant Levasseur) 12 October 1981 23 May 1983 11 May 1984 In service; retirement planned in 2026[5]

South African and Argentine navies[edit]

ARA Granville

The Argentine Navy also operates three D'Estienne d'Orves-class ships, locally known as the Drummond class. The first two ships, originally named Lieutenant de vaisseau Le Hénaff and Commandant L'Herminier while under construction for the French Navy, were originally acquired by the South African Navy in 1976. In the French Navy they were replaced by new ships with the same names. The two ships were renamed Good Hope and Transvaal, but due to UN sanctions against South Africa, they were not delivered and were bought by the Argentine Navy on 25 December 1978. They were renamed ARA Drummond and ARA Guerrico. A third ship of the class, ARA Granville, was ordered by Argentina and was delivered in 1981.[10]

Turkish Navy[edit]

In October 2000, Turkey acquired six Type A 69 avisos. They were acquired for the Turkish Navy for coastal patrol in order to release more capable Turkish ships for frontline duty. Five of the six vessels were refitted at Brest before transfer.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Patrouilleurs: Les avisos français sur tous les fronts" [Patrol ships: French Avisos on all fronts.]. asafrance.fr (in French). 26 January 2017. Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  2. ^ a b Sharpe 1990, p. 191.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Gardiner, Chumbley & Budzbon 1995, p. 118.
  4. ^ a b Saunders 2009, p. 834.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Groizeleau, Vincent (6 May 2021). "La Marine nationale va rapidement désarmer ses derniers PHM" [The French Navy will quickly disarm its last PHM]. Mer et Marine (in French). Archived from the original on 2021-05-06. Retrieved 15 June 2021.
  6. ^ Groizeleau, Vincent (13 March 2023). "La Marine nationale n'obtiendrait que 7 nouveaux patrouilleurs hauturiers au lieu des 10 prévus". Mer et Marine.
  7. ^ Vavasseur, Xavier (25 June 2020). "French Navy Ageing PHMs And PSPs Patrol Vessels To Be Replaced With 10 New OPVs". navalnews.com. Retrieved 11 August 2020.
  8. ^ "Euronaval: First Details Of The Patrouilleurs Océanique (PO) Platform Unveiled". navalnews.com. 23 October 2020. Retrieved 20 November 2020.
  9. ^ Groizeleau, Vincent (24 August 2020). "Le Lieutenant de Vaisseau Le Henaff retiré du service" [Lieutenant de Vaisseau Le Henaff retired from service]. Mer et Marine (in French). Archived from the original on 2020-10-30. Retrieved 20 November 2020.
  10. ^ Gardiner, Chumbley & Budzbon 1995, pp. 4, 118.


  • Gardiner, Robert; Chumbley, Stephen & Budzbon, Przemysław, eds. (1995). Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1947–1995. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. ISBN 1-55750-132-7.
  • Saunders, Stephen, ed. (2009). Jane's Fighting Ships 2009–2010 (112 ed.). Alexandria, Virginia: Jane's Information Group Inc. ISBN 978-0-7106-2888-6.
  • Sharpe, Richard, ed. (1990). Jane's Fighting Ships 1990–91 (93 ed.). Surrey, United Kingdom: Jane's Information Group. ISBN 0-7106-0904-3.

External links[edit]