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JEANNE D'ARC helicopter cruiser (1964)


Jeanne d'Arc 1977


Name No Yard No Builder Laid down Launched Comp Fate
Jeanne d'Arc (ex-La Résolue) R97   Arsenal de Brest 7.8.1960 30.9.1961 16.7.1964 stricken 9.2010

Technical data

Displacement standard, t


Displacement full, t


Length, m

172.0 pp 182.0 oa

Breadth, m

22.0 wl 24.0 fd

Draught, m


No of shafts



2 sets Rateau-Bretagne geared steam turbines, 4 boilers

Power, h. p.


Max speed, kts


Fuel, t

oil 1360

Endurance, nm(kts)6000(15)

4 x 1 - 100/55 Mod 1953, 4 - 8 helicopters (4 - 8 Super Frelon)

Electronic equipmentDRBV-22D, DRBV-50, DRBI-10, 3x DRBC-32A radars, SQS-503 sonar, 2x Syllex decoy RL

627 (inc 183 cadets)

Standard scale images

<i>Jeanne d'Arc </i>1967
Jeanne d'Arc 1967
<i>Jeanne d'Arc </i>1980
Jeanne d'Arc 1980
<i>Jeanne d'Arc </i>2000
Jeanne d'Arc 2000


<i>Jeanne d'Arc</i> 1977
Jeanne d'Arc 1977

Project history

In the mid-1950s the need arose to replace the old training cruder Jeanne d'Arc. Various proposals were considered, including the use of a flotilla avisos escorteurs, but in 1956 it was decided to construct a specialized helicopter cruiser which in wartime could be employed for ASW operations, for amphibious assault, or as a troop transport capable of lifting a battalion of 700 men.

The resulting PH 57 design adopted a hull form based on that of the anti-aircraft cruiser Colbert. A conventional cruiser superstructure forward accommodated all command and control facilities, together with the boiler uptakes, while the after part of the ship was dominated by a helicopter deck (62x21m) beneath which were located the hangar and aviation facilities. The ship was named La Résolue as a temporary measure, adopting the name Jeanne d'Arc when her predecessor was withdrawn from service in 1964.

High speed was not a tactical requirement, so the size of the propulsion machinery was considerably reduced compared with Colbert. There were two main machinery spaces, each with two boilers and a turbine, separated by a single bulkhead. After the ship's sea trials, the funnel had to be heightened in order to clear the bridge structure.

Initially it was planned to fit four 100mm single mountings around the superstructure with a further two on the stern, controlled by three FC directors, but the two mountings abeam the superstructure were deleted.

Electronic equipment was similar to that aboard Clemenceau. Sonar was provided, and the ship was to have carried a quadruple 305mm ASW mortar on the forecastle, but this was never fitted. It was also planned to replace the mortar by a Masurca SAM launcher at a later date, but this plan, too, was abandoned. In 1974, however, six MM38 Exocet launchers were installed forward of the bridge. A Crotale SAM system and a SENIT-2 tactical data system were to have been installed during the 1980s, but these and other projected modifications were abandoned because of budget pressures.

The bridge structure, in addition to the navigation bridge, contains an action information centre, a control centre for amphibious landing operations and, at the after end, a helicopter control bridge.

Hangar and flight deck were served by a single centreline lift with a capacity of 12t. Originally this was to have projected from the after end of the flight deck, but during construction it was decided to enclose it by extending the hangar structure aft in order to provide repair and inspection workshops and handling rooms for aircraft ordnance.

The hangar can accommodate four Super Frelon helicopters, which were introduced into service at about the same time as Jeanne d'Arc and can serve in both the ASW and assault roles. In wartime, hangar space could be doubled by removing some of the officer cadet accommodation, allowing a further four helicopters to be embarked. Five helicopter spots were marked on the flight deck, and there was sufficient space for two simultaneous take-offs. In peacetime Jeanne d'Arc has tended to operate smaller helicopters such as the HSS-1, the Alouette III and the Lynx.


1974: + 6 x 1 Exocet MM38 SSM (6 Exocet MM38)

1984: - DRBI-10 radar, SQS-503 sonar; + DUBV-24 sonar, ARBR-16, ARBX-10 ECM suites

1990: - DRBV-50 radar; + DRBV-51 radar

2000: - 2 x 1 - 100/55, 2x Syllex decoy RL

Naval service

 No significant events.