Navy Air Defense Destroyer Chevalier Paul (D621) deploys to
the Syrian coasts
French Navy is deploying one of its two Horizon class Air Defense Destroyers
to the Eastern Mediterranean according to French weekly Le
Point. The Chevalier Paul (D621) will join the
four US Navy Guided Missile Destroyers and an undisclosed number of
US and UK submarines already in the area. The role of the French Destroyer
would be to provide air defense for the fleet, as well as air cover
for coalition warplanes should they get involved in an air assault.
air defense Destroyer Chevalier Paul providing escort to USS
John C. Stennis (CVN 74) in the strait of Ormuz in February 2013
(pictures:U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class
class Destroyers are advanced warships dedicated to air defense missions.
They usually deploy with 32 Aster 30 missiles for long range interception
and 16 Aster 15 missiles for medium range interception. The vessels
are also fitted with 8 MM 40 Exocet Block III, the latest version of
MBDA's anti-ship missile.
An Aster 30 surface to air missile is launched from the Chevalier Paul's
VLS cell (file picture)
(picture: French navy)
guide the missiles, Chevalier Paul is fitted with a powerful tri-dimensional
radar capable of detecting targets more than 200 kilometers away. The
main mission of this class of ship is the protection of aircraft carriers,
capital ships or littoral infrastructures from threats coming from the
Chevalier Paul Air Defense Destroyer (Horizon Class) provides coastal
fire support with its 76mm guns during Opération Harmattan (Odyssey
Down) off Libya
(French Navy photo)
is worth noting that during the campaign in Libya, Chevalier Paul conducted
several coastal fire support missions with its two Oto Melara 76mm guns.
This type of mission however is unlikely in Syria given the current
context and because of the presence of advanced Russian made supersonic
anti-ship missiles in the Syrian arsenal (P-800 Oniks).