French surveillance frigate Floréal, headed by Commander Johann de Villars is paying a port call to Davao on April 4–8, 2008. Cmd de Villars is set to pay courtesy calls on the Philippine authorities such as the Philippine Navy and the City of Davao. Training exercises with the Philippine Navy will also be held.
First in a class of six surveillance frigates, Floréal, which means “month of the flowers”, was designed and built by the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyards in Saint-Nazaire. Based in the Island of Réunion, she has been commissioned on March 8th, 1992.
Her crew of 94 people (13 officers, 60 petty officers and 21 seamen) includes women since 2006. 25 commandos can also be embarked for special missions. Measuring 93.5 meters length, 14 meters breadth and 43 meters height, Floreal’s maximum displacement is 2,950 tons. Outfitted with high standard equipment such as a helicopter designed for operations at sea (Panther followed by NH90), she has optimal detection and weaponry capabilities for anti-aircraft and anti-surface fight, well adapted to her missions. This comfortable ship behaves well in heavy seas and has a self-sufficiency of 50 days at sea.
As a surveillance frigate, Floréal patrols overseas maritime areas under French jurisdiction and other maritime areas. Her missions include:
presence at sea with the capability to observe and to gather information;
navigation control, fishery protections and assistance in high seas; and
humanitarian missions and evacuation of civilians.
The main action areas of Floréal are the Indian Ocean (Eastern Africa and Southern Asia) and the French economic exclusive zone (EEZ) North of the Antarctic.
Arriving from Adelaide, Australia on April 4, Floréal will then sail on April 8 for Bangkok, Thailand, with one Philippine Navy officer on board.
This 4-day visit’s objective is to promote friendship and cooperation between the Philippines and France as a nation of the Pacific. French warships visit the Philippine archipelago once or twice a year.