The SNA Emeraude and the BSAM Seine return to Toulon after their deployment in Asia

After almost six months of deployment to Asia as part of the Marianne mission, the nuclear attack submarine (SNA) Emeraude and the metropolitan support and assistance building (BSAM) Seine returned to their base yesterday. Toulon. Set off last September, they have each sailed more than 25,000 nautical miles and completed 200 days at sea, the SNA totaling 2,000 hours of diving. To welcome them, were notably present Admiral Vandier, Chief of Staff of the French Navy, and Vice-Admiral Jean-Philippe Chaineau, commander of the submarine forces and the strategic oceanic force.

The BSAM Seine in Toulon yesterday (© FRANCIS JACQUOT)

The SNA Emeraude returning to Toulon yesterday (© FRANCIS JACQUOT)

The SNA Emeraude returning to Toulon yesterday (© FRANCIS JACQUOT)

The SNA Emeraude returning to Toulon yesterday (© FRANCIS JACQUOT)

The SNA Emeraude returning to Toulon yesterday (© FRANCIS JACQUOT)

The SNA Emeraude returning to Toulon yesterday (© FRANCIS JACQUOT)

The SNA Emeraude returning to Toulon yesterday (© FRANCIS JACQUOT)

The SNA Emeraude returning to Toulon yesterday (© FRANCIS JACQUOT)

The SNA Emeraude returning to Toulon yesterday (© FRANCIS JACQUOT)

This is the first time in 20 years that a French submarine has been deployed to the Pacific Ocean. A technical, logistical and human challenge which required a long preparation for the French Navy, but which was also made possible by joint work, with for example the support of the Joint Directorate of infrastructure networks and information systems ( DIRISI) for issues related to transmissions, or the Air Force which mobilized an A400M to replace the crews of the Emeraude and the Seine in December.

The presence of the Seine was fundamental to allowing such a distant deployment of an ANS, the new BSAM providing logistical support for the submarine, a mission for which the four units of this type were designed. Marianne enabled this ability to be validated, which will probably be more commonly used with the new SNAs of the Suffren class which are starting to replace Ruby-type units, of which the Emerald is part.

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After crossing the Mediterranean and crossing the Suez Canal at the end of September, the Emeraude and the Seine continued in the Red Sea then in the Indian Ocean, before heading to Australia, with a stopover in Perth at the end of November, at the end of from which they set sail for Asia. At the beginning of November, the French buildings were in Guam, where one of the most important American bases in the region is located. This is where the Blue crew of the SNA and the A crew of the BSAM could be relieved, the Red and B crews taking charge of the boats for the second part of the mission. This continued in the Philippine Sea, then in the South China Sea before starting the return to France, marked in particular by an interaction last month, in the Indian Ocean, with the carrier strike group led by the carrier. Charles de Gaulle planes.

The Emerald and the Seine in Guam in November (© NAVY NATIONALE)

The Emerald and the Seine in Guam in November (© NAVY NATIONALE)

With the Japanese helicopter carrier Hyuga in December (© DR)

With the Japanese helicopter carrier Hyuga in December (© DR)

With the American ANS USS Asheville

With the American ANS USS Asheville in December (© DR)

This deployment was marked by exchanges with navies from countries in the Indo-Pacific region, starting with the Royal Australian Navy, the Japanese maritime self-defense forces and the US Navy, but also others such as the Indonesian navy. Strengthening cooperation and interoperability with these partners in a region where France borders with its overseas territories was one of the major challenges of the Marianne mission. It is also in line with the acceleration of the Mercator plan of the French Navy which aims to accentuate the training of French naval forces with foreign partners, including in very distant areas, in a logic of ” plug and fight ”in the event of an allied operation being triggered, whatever the region of the world.

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Of course, demonstrating the French ability to deploy a military tool as powerful as an ANS on the other side of the planet was also one of Marianne’s main objectives. It was already a question for the Navy itself, so long after the Pearl’s previous visit to the region two decades ago, to ensure that it could still conduct such an operation and verify that it was proceeding smoothly in the process. ” relying on means such as BSAM, support from other armies and allied countries. But there was also, of course, a political message, in the wake of the will displayed by France to defend the freedom to sail on all the seas of the globe, especially in Southeast Asia, and to position itself as an actor. stability alongside its major regional allies. This has led in recent years to a strengthening of the French military presence in the Indo-Pacific.

© An article by the editorial staff of Mer et Marine. Reproduction prohibited without the consent of the author (s).

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