French ship Somme (A631)

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Somme (A631) in Toulon harbor, 2005
Somme (A631) in Toulon harbor, May 2009
Name: Somme
Namesake: Somme river
Laid down: 3 May 1985[1]
Launched: 3 October 1987[1]
Commissioned: 7 March 1990[1]
Homeport: Toulon
General characteristics
Class and type: Durance class
Type: Replenishment oiler and command ship
  • 7,800 tonnes (empty)
  • 18,000 tonnes (full load)[2]
Length: 157.2 m[2]
Beam: 21.2 m[2]
  • 8.65 metres (average)[2]
  • 10.80 metres full load
Propulsion: 2 × Two Pielstick 16 PC2-5 V 400 diesel engines,[2] two shafts
Speed: 19 knots (35 km/h)[2]
Range: 9000 nmi at 15 knots (28 km/h)[2]
  • 10 officers
  • 59 non-commissioned officers
  • 100 sailors[2]
Sensors and
processing systems:
2 DRBN 38 radars[2]
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
1 SLQ-25 Nixie towed jammer[2]
Aviation facilities: Medium helicopter pad

The Somme (A631) is a Durance class command and replenishment ship (French: Bâtiment de commandement et de ravitaillement, BCR) of the French Navy.

In addition to its primary duty as a fleet tanker, the Somme is configured as a flagship. Serving as the command vessel for the French forces participating in Operation Enduring Freedom, the Somme was attacked approximately 250 nautical miles (460 kilometres) off the Somalian coast in the night of 6 to 7 October 2009 by two motorboats of Somalian pirates who mistook the Somme for a civilian ship. The Somme repelled the assault rifle attack without sustaining damage or casualties and captured five of the pirates.[3]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "BCR Somme (A 631): Présentation" (in French). Marine Nationale. Retrieved 2009-10-07. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "BCR Somme (A 631): Caractéristiques" (in French). Marine Nationale. Retrieved 2009-10-07. 
  3. ^ "Somali pirates attack French military flagship". Agence France-Presse. 7 October 2009. Archived from the original on 2009-10-11. Retrieved 2009-10-07.