Force Projection and Command Ship (LHD/BPC) « Tonnerre » call at Halifax
The Force Projection and Command and Ship (LHD/BPC) « Tonnerre » called at Halifax from 23 to 27 April 2007.
It was an occasion for the Commander of the ship to welcome aboard the Defence Deputy Minister, Ward Elcock, the Chief of Defence Staff, General Hillier and the Vice-Chief of Defence Staff, General Natynczyk.
LHD/BPC « Tonnerre » is the second amphibious ship in service in the French Navy along with her sister ship, CPS “Mistral”. These ships are designed to play a vital role in international crisis, and to allow the deployment of expeditionary forces or to conduct evacuation of foreign nationals from an area of operations.
LHD/BPC ship matches the international anti-pollution standards. They were built according to civilian regulations. They can host up to 4000 people on board and a complete modern state of art hospital with a total deck area of 750m2, two operating theatres, a radiology room and 69 beds, 19 of which are high dependency beds. The helicopter hangar can also be converted into a field hospital. LHD/BPC ship can operate a wide NATO standards command post to conduct multinational operations or non-combatant evacuation like in July 2006.
“Mistral” successfully deployed ashore Lebanon on very short notice and demonstrated her capability to operate in an allied and joint environment, and her ability to conduct amphibious operations and non-combatant evacuation. With a length of 199 metres and a displacement of 21.500 tons fully loaded, LHD/BPC ship is the first big vessel to be manned by only 160 crews. Both « Mistral » and « Tonnerre » can board 450 soldiers, 70 vehicles, 16 heavy helicopters, 4 landing craft or 2 air cushion amphibious vehicles.