As a sample of the cooperation activities between Chile and France, the surveillance frigate PRAIRIAL will visit the port of Valparaiso, within the framework of the fair Expo Naval 2022, which will take place from November 29 to December 2 of this year in the premises of the Valparaiso Passenger Terminal.

This frigate is of the Floréal class, which is one of the 6 of this series of light surveillance frigates designed to meet the needs of the French Navy for its vast overseas territories (French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Reunion Island and Austral Land, Crie and French Guyana) and whose construction was authorized in 1989. For the construction of these ships, the construction standards used for commercial vessels were used. In addition, they were designed to monitor the French economic zone, (which is the second largest Exclusive Economic Zone in the world and whose surveillance area is 50% in the Pacific Ocean). In peacetime, its operations are maritime policing and protection of commercial traffic, as well as activities related to humanitarian operations.

These ships weigh 2,950 tons and have a length of 93.5 meters. Among its weapons systems are its Exocet missile launchers and its most visible armament is the 100 mm multipurpose naval gun, characteristic of most French ships. It is equipped with an A/S 350 Dauphin or A/S 565 Panther helicopter and has the capability to operate with a PUMA/SUPER PUMA/ COUGAR type helicopter.

It has a crew of 90 sailors and is based in French Polynesia, in the port of Papeete.

One of its main characteristics is its great autonomy to sail 13,000 nautical miles at a speed of 10 knots. In addition, these surveillance frigates were built using the SOLAS (Safety Of Life At Sea) regulation, which requires the ship to be equipped with eleven watertight compartments. The Det Norske Veritas classification society’s regulations for power and safety production were also used.

These units were each built using the modular construction system in six prefabricated parts of up to 570 tons, which were then assembled by dry-dock welding at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint Nazaire.