- Georges Leygues (D640)
The "Georges Leygues" (D640) is a F70 type anti-submarine frigate of the French "Marine Nationale". She is the second French vessel named after the XIX-XXth Century politician and minister of the Navy
She is the tender for the "Jeanne d'Arc".
The "Georges Leygues", lead ship of her class, has a long history. In 1981, the "Georges Leygues" and the fleet escort "Guépratte", cruising in front of an allied fleet during training sessions, detected a Soviet submarine, which they chased during 19 hours. A rare instance of submarine warfare occurred, the Soviet submarine trying running at 28 knots and diving under the sonar of the "Georges Leygues" to try and avoid detection, before she was forced to surface, being formally identified as a
Victor class submarineby the on-board Lynx WG13.
The same year, she intervened when the
Iranian ship "Tabarzin" was capture by a commando hostile to the new regime, and routed to France. The commando reached France and required political refugee status, while the ship was returned to Iran.
From 1987, France and Iran having broken diplomatic relationships, and the "Georges Leygues" escorted commercial ships in the Persian Gulf.
In 1992, the "Georges Leygues" took part in
Operation Restore Hopein Somalia.
In 1999, she was partially transformed to accommodate student officers, and started tending the "Jeanne d'Arc" in the context of the training journeys of the French Naval Academy. The same year, catastrophic flooding occurred in
Mozambicand the two ships were re-routed to deliver humanitarian aid.
In 2004, the study journey was perturbed by the riots in
Haitiwhich demanded the departure of President Aristid. The "Jeanne d'Arc" and the "Georges Leygues" were re-routed to assist French intervention there.
The same year, the two ships intervened in Indonesai after the
2004 Indian Ocean earthquake.
There are seven ships in the F70 class :
* D640 "Georges Leygues"
* D641 "Dupleix"
* D642 "Montcalm"
* D643 "Jean de Vienne"
* D644 "Primauguet"
* D645 "La Motte Picquet"
* D646 "Latouche-Tréville"
Note: The French navy doesn't use the term "
destroyer" for its ships; hence some large ships, referred to as " frigates", are registered as destroyers.
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.