French ship Mistral (L9013)

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Mistral preparing for the celebrations of the 8th of May 2009
Namesake: Wind Mistral
Builder: Arsenal de Brest, Chantiers de Saint-Nazaire
Laid down:
  • 10 July 2003 (aft part at Brest)
  • 13 October 2003 (bow part at Saint-Nazaire)
Launched: 6 October 2004 in Brest
Commissioned: February 2006
Homeport: Toulon
Identification: L 9013
Status: In service
General characteristics
Class and type: Mistral-class amphibious assault ship
  • 16,500 t (empty)
  • 21,300 t (full load)
  • 32,300 t (with ballasts)
Length: 199 m
Beam: 32 m
Draught: 6,3 m
  • Motorisation : 2 Mermaïd electric motors (2 × 7 MW)
  • 2 5-bladed propellers
  • Electrical plant: 4 Wärtsilä diesels-alternators 16 V32 (6,2 MW) + 1 Wärtsilä Vaasa auxiliary diesel-alternator 18V200 (3 MW)
Speed: 18.8 kn (34.8 km/h; 21.6 mph)
  • 10,800 km (6,700 mi) at 18 kn (33 km/h; 21 mph)
  • 19,800 km (12,300 mi) at 15 kn (28 km/h; 17 mph)
Capacity: 2 barges, one Leclerc battalion, 70 vehicles
Complement: 20 officers, 80 petty officers, 60 Quarter-masters, 450 passengers (900 for a short cruise), 150 men operational headquarter
Aircraft carried: 16 heavy or 35 light helicopters

Mistral (L9013) is an amphibious assault ship, a type of helicopter carrier, of the French Navy. She is the fourth vessel to bear the name, and is the lead ship of the Mistral-class amphibious assault ships.


Mistral started her trials in January 2005, and was officially commissioned in February 2006. She departed from Toulon for her first long-range journey in March, sailing through the Mediterranean, Suez, and the Red Sea to Djibouti and India, before returning to France.

In July, to ensure the safety of European citizens in the context of the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict, France set up Opération Baliste. Mistral was the flagship of the fleet unit off Lebanon, escorted by the frigates Jean Bart and Jean de Vienne, and along with Siroco.

On 16 May 2008, the Burmese UN ambassador accused France of deploying Mistral to the Burmese coast for military purposes. The French UN ambassador denied this, stating that she was instead carrying 1,500 tons of relief supplies.[1]

In February 2010 it was announced that France had agreed to sell Russia a Mistral-class vessel with a potential option for three more vessels.[2] On 17 June 2011, Russia and France signed $1.7bln deal for two Mistral class vessels.[3]

In March 2011 she was deployed to Libyan waters to help aid the joint NATO effort to repatriate tens of thousands of Egyptian refugees fleeing the violence in Libya.[4]

In January 2013, escorted by Chevalier Paul, Mistral took part in the ill-fated operation to retrieve Denis Allex,[5] a DGSE officer held hostage in Bulo Marer.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "France angered by Burmese delays". BBC Online. 17 May 2008. Retrieved 24 October 2014. 
  2. ^ Marquand, Robert (11 February 2010). "French warship to Russia: Risky precedent or a cruise ship painted gray?". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 24 October 2014. 
  3. ^ "Russia signs $1.7 bln deal for 2 French warships". RIA Novosti. 17 June 2011. Retrieved 24 October 2014. 
  4. ^ "Libya: UK and France to fly Egyptians from Tunisia". BBC Online. 2 March 2011. Retrieved 24 October 2014. 
  5. ^ Guisnel, Jean (13 January 2013). "EXCLUSIF. Somalie : le raid pour libérer Denis Allex a été conduit depuis le Mistral" (in French). Le Point. Retrieved 24 October 2014. 

External links[edit]

  • (in French) BPC Mistral Force Projection and Command Ship Mistral on Alabordache
  • (in French) BPC Mistral Force Projection and Command Ship Mistral