French warship “CHAMPLAIN” pays port visit to South Africa

19 January 2021

The French Navy Offshore Patrol Vessel - CHAMPLAIN - will be in the Durban harbour until the end of this week for its first port call of her journey.

The French warship, which departed from La Réunion earlier this month for a nearly 3 month patrol in the Southern Indian Ocean, arrived in Durban on Monday, 17 January 2022 and is scheduled to depart on Friday, 21 January 2022.

This mission is part of France’s Indo-Pacific strategy, as the country will hold a Ministerial Forum on In-do-Pacific cooperation next month.

The “CHAMPLAIN” (belonging to “D'Entrecasteaux” class) is a 2000 tons oceanic patrol ship of the French Navy with 35 crew members. It performs a range of low-intensity, high-endurance missions in the French exclusive economic zones (EEZ), from overseas bases.

It has a relatively low maximum speed of 12 to 15 knots (22 to 28 km/h), but is able to operate for 30 days without resupply. The design is aimed at a high availability of 200 days at sea per year to perform duties related to sovereignty, law enforcement and logistical missions (such as policing illegal fishing, traffic and mining; assisting distressed ships; search and rescue; and contributing to the logistics of over-seas territories like Mayotte or Eparses islands).

France holds the largest EEZs, totalling one million km² in the Indian Ocean and 1.7 million km² in the Southern Ocean.

Embassy of France in South Africa