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SUFFREN missile destroyers (1967 - 1970)


Suffren 1980


Name No Yard No Builder Laid down Launched Comp Fate
Suffren D602   Arsenal de Brest 12/1962 15.5.1965 20.7.1967 decommissioned 4.2001, breakwater 7.2009
Duquesne D603   Arsenal de Lorient 11/1964 12.2.1966 1.4.1970 decommissioned 6.2007, breakwater 2009

Technical data

Displacement standard, t


Displacement full, t


Length, m

148.0 pp 157.6 oa

Breadth, m


Draught, m


No of shafts



2 sets Rateau geared steam turbines, 4 Indret boilers

Power, h. p.


Max speed, kts


Fuel, t


Endurance, nm(kts)5100(18)

1 x 2 Masurca Mk 2 Mod 2.Mod 3 SAM (48 Masurca), 1 x 1 Malafon ASuM (13 Malafon), 2 x 1 - 100/55 Mod 1964, 4 x 1 - 20/70 Mk 4, 4 - 550 torpedo catapults (10 L5)

Electronic equipment

DRBI-23, DRBV-50, 2x DRBR-51, DRBC-32A radars, DUBV-23, DUBV-43 VDS sonars, 2x Syllex decoy RL, SENIT-1 CCS



Standard scale images

<i>Suffren </i>1980
Suffren 1980
<i>Suffren </i>1990
Suffren 1990
<i>Suffren </i>1970
Suffren 1970
<i>Duquesne </i>1998
Duquesne 1998


<i>Suffren </i>1980
Suffren 1980

Project history

Built under the 1960-65 Plan, these ships marked a radical departure from previous practice both in terms of armament and architecture. Classified as frégates lance-engines (now lance-missiles, FLM), they were designed to provide area defence and anti-submarine protection to the carriers Foch and Clemenceau, and are therefore similar in conception to the US Navy 'frigates' of the late 1950s and early 1960s, and the Royal Navy's Type 82 destroyer. They accompanied the French carriers to the Mediterranean Fleet when the latter were transferred from the Atlantic in 1975. Three ships were initially projected, with more to follow, but the programme was cut short by financial pressures related to the SSBN programme.

The Masurca area defence system, which was of French design and manufacture, was fitted only in these ships and the cruiser Colbert. Masurca was initially a beam-rider, but the Mod 3 variant currently in use employs semi-active guidance. The system was upgraded in 1982-85 to prolong its service life into the late 1990s. The DRBI-23 3-D air search and tracking radar is housed within a distinctive radome which dominates the ship's silhouette. Data from the ship's sensors are coordinated by a SENIT-1 tactical data system, and the ships are fitted with three pairs of non-retractable fin stabilizers to ensure a steady weapons platform.

The ASW systems are essentially those trialled on La Galissonière during the early 1960s. The magazine for the single Malafon launcher is housed within the after deckhouse. Suffren was the first ship in the Marine Nationale to employ fixed catapults to launch ASW torpedoes. The four catapults are housed in the deckhouse between the mast and the bridge structure.


1977, Duquesne; 1979, Suffren: - 4 x 1 - 20/70; + 4 x 1 MM38 Exocet SSM (4 MM38)

1985, Duquesne: - DRBV-50 radar; + DRBV-15A radar

1990, Suffren: - DRBV-50, DRBC-32A radars, 2x Syllex decoy RL; + 2 x 1 - 20/70 Mk 4, DRBV-15A, DRBC-33A radars, ARBB-32 ECM suite, 2x Sagaie decoy RL

1991, Duquesne: - DRBC-32A radar, 2x Syllex decoy RL; + 2 x 1 - 20/70 Mk 4, DRBC-33A radar, ARBB-32 ECM suite, 2x Sagaie decoy RL

1998, both: - 1 x 1 Malafon ASuM

2000, both: Masurca SAM became non-operable

Naval service

No significant events.