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T 47-class destroyer
Model of Chevalier Paul (D626) in her original configuration.
Model of Chevalier Paul (D626) in her original configuration.
Class overview
Name: T 47 or Surcouf class
Builders: Arsenal de Brest
Arsenal de Lorient
Forges et Chantiers de la Gironde
Ateliers et Chantiers de Bretagne
Operators:  French Navy
Preceded by: Fantasque class, Hardi class
Succeeded by: T 53 class
Subclasses: Anti-submarine and anti-air variants after refit
In commission: 1955-1991
Completed: 12
Preserved: Maillé-Brézé
General characteristics
Type: Destroyer
Displacement: 2,750 long tons (2,794 t) standard
3,740 long tons (3,800 t) full load
Length: 128.6 m (422 ft)
Beam: 12.7 m (41 ft 8 in)
Draught: 5.4 m (17 ft 9 in)
Installed power: 63,000 shp (47 MW)
Propulsion: 4 diesel boilers
Parsons geared steam turbines
2 shafts
Speed: 34 knots (63 km/h; 39 mph)
Range: 5,000 nmi (9,300 km; 5,800 mi) at 18 kn (33 km/h; 21 mph)
Complement: 347
  • As built:
  • 6 × Model 1948 127 mm (5 in) guns (3 twin turrets)
  • 6 × 57 mm (2.2 in) guns (3 twin turrets)
  • 4 × 20 mm (0.8 in) guns (4×1)
  • 12 × 550 mm (21.7 in) torpedo tubes (4×3)

The T 47 class (or Surcouf class) were the first destroyers built for the French Navy after the Second World War. Twelve ships were built between 1955 and 1957. The ships were modernised in the 1960s and decommissioned in the 1980s, when they were replaced by the Georges Leygues-class frigates.

These ships were larger than other contemporary European destroyers and were based on the wartime Hardi class, but were enlarged and had a dual purpose armament. The ships were designed as Squadron escorts (Escorteur d'escadre) rather than for independent operations, therefore they had a slower speed than their predecessors. The main guns were the French designed Model 1948 127-millimetre (5 in)/54 gun, which enabled them to use the same 5-inch shells as the U.S. Mark 18 gun.[1] The secondary armament was composed of 57mm/60 modèle 1951 guns.

Modifications[edit | edit source]

During the 1960s the entire class were modernised and modified as either flotilla flagships, anti-aircraft guided missile or anti-submarine destroyers.

Flagships[edit | edit source]

Three ships — Surcouf, Cassard, and Chevalier Paul — were converted into flotilla flagships (conducteurs de flottilles) between 1960 and 1962. One 57 mm gun turret, two triple torpedo launchers and two 20 mm guns were removed in order to enlarge the superstructure to accommodate an admiral, his staff, and additional communications equipment.[2]

AAW modernisation[edit | edit source]

Bouvet (D624) after her "Tartar" refit

Four ships — Bouvet, Kersaint, Dupetit-Touhars and Du Chayla — were modernised as anti-aircraft guided missile destroyers in 1962–1965.


ASW modernisation[edit | edit source]

Five ships — D'Estrées, Maillé-Brézé, Vauquelin, Casabianca and Guépratte — were modernised as anti-submarine destroyers in 1968–1970.


Ships[edit | edit source]

Pennant Name Named after Builder Commissioned Modernisation Fate
D621 Surcouf[4] Robert Surcouf Arsenal de Lorient 1 November 1955 Flagship Accidentally rammed in 1971
Surviving aft part sunk as target in 1972
D622 Kersaint[5] Armand de Kersaint Arsenal de Lorient 20 March 1956 Anti-air Decommissioned 3 March 1984
Sunk as a target in the Atlantic, May 1986
D623 Cassard[6] Jacques Cassard AC Bretagne 14 April 1956 Flagship Decommissioned 1 October 1974
Scrapped in Spain, 1989
D624 Bouvet[7] Jean-Baptiste Charles Bouvet de Lozier Arsenal de Lorient 13 May 1956 Anti-air Decommissioned 1 January 1982
Served as breakwater at Lorient
Towed to Ghent, Belgium, for scrapping, September 2012[8]
D625 Dupetit-Thouars[9] Aristide Aubert Du Petit Thouars Arsenal de Brest 15 September 1956 Anti-air Decommissioned April 1988
Breakwater at Lanvéoc
D626 Chevalier Paul[10] Chevalier Paul FC de la Gironde 22 December 1956 Flagship Decommissioned June 1971
Sunk off Toulon by Super Étendard aircraft from the carrier Clemenceau, May 1987
D627 Maillé-Brézé[11] Jean Armand de Maillé-Brézé Arsenal de Lorient 4 May 1957 Anti-submarine Decommissioned 1 April 1988
Museum ship at Nantes
D628 Vauquelin[12] Moise Vauquelin Arsenal de Lorient 3 November 1956 Anti-submarine Decommissioned 6 November 1986
Used as a target for testing the Crotale NG missile system, 1988-2001
Sunk by Super Étendard aircraft from the carrier Charles de Gaulle, 13 February 2004, then destroyed with explosives by clearance divers
D629 D'Estrées[13] Jean II and Victor-Marie d'Estrées Arsenal de Brest 19 March 1957 Anti-submarine Decommissioned 3 July 1985
Sunk off Toulon by a F17 Mod2 torpedo from the submarine Saphir, 12 September 2001
D630 Du Chayla[14] Armand Blanquet du Chayla Arsenal de Brest 4 June 1957 Anti-air Decommissioned 15 November 1991
Sunk off the coast of Brittany with explosives, September 2001
D631 Casabianca[15] Luc-Julien-Joseph Casabianca AC Bretagne 4 May 1957 Anti-submarine Decommissioned 7 September 1984
Sold for scrapping at Brest, 1987
D632 Guépratte[16] Émile Paul Amable Guépratte FC de la Gironde 6 June 1957 Anti-submarine Decommissioned 5 August 1985
Sunk in the Mediterranean by two Exocet AM39 missiles fired by a Super Étendard aircraft, 9 November 1994

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References[edit | edit source]

  1. "France 127 mm/54 (5') Model 1948". navweaps.com. 2007. http://www.navweaps.com/Weapons/WNFR_5-54_m1948.htm. Retrieved 25 March 2013. 
  2. Roche, Jean-Michel (2012). "Surcouf: La refonte en conducteur de flottille". netmarine.net. http://www.netmarine.net/bat/ee/surcouf/caracter.htm. Retrieved 25 March 2013.  (French)
  3. Dubey, Franck (2012). "Lance-Roquette de 375mm". netmarine.net. http://www.netmarine.net/f/armes/lr375/index.htm. Retrieved 25 March 2013.  (French)
  4. Roche, Jean-Michel (2012). "Surcouf". netmarine.net. http://www.netmarine.net/bat/ee/surcouf/index.htm. Retrieved 25 March 2013.  (French)
  5. Roche, Jean-Michel (2012). "Kersaint". netmarine.net. http://www.netmarine.net/bat/ee/kersaint/index.htm. Retrieved 25 March 2013.  (French)
  6. Roche, Jean-Michel (2012). "Cassard". netmarine.net. http://www.netmarine.net/bat/ee/cassard/index.htm. Retrieved 25 March 2013.  (French)
  7. Roche, Jean-Michel (2012). "Bouvet". netmarine.net. http://www.netmarine.net/bat/ee/bouvet/index.htm. Retrieved 25 March 2013.  (French)
  8. "Transfert de la coque Q 635, ex-Bouvet". Marine Nationale. 18 September 2012. http://www.defense.gouv.fr/marine/au-fil-de-l-eau/transfert-de-la-coque-q-635-ex-bouvet. Retrieved 25 March 2013.  (French)
  9. Roche, Jean-Michel (2012). "Dupetit-Thouars". netmarine.net. http://www.netmarine.net/bat/ee/dupetit/index.htm. Retrieved 25 March 2013.  (French)
  10. Roche, Jean-Michel (2012). "Chevalier Paul". netmarine.net. http://www.netmarine.net/bat/ee/chevalie/index.htm. Retrieved 25 March 2013.  (French)
  11. Roche, Jean-Michel (2012). "Maillé Brézé". netmarine.net. http://www.netmarine.net/bat/ee/maillebr/index.htm. Retrieved 25 March 2013.  (French)
  12. Roche, Jean-Michel (2012). "Vauquelin". netmarine.net. http://www.netmarine.net/bat/ee/vauqueli/index.htm. Retrieved 25 March 2013.  (French)
  13. Roche, Jean-Michel (2012). "D'Estrées". netmarine.net. http://www.netmarine.net/bat/ee/destree/index.htm. Retrieved 25 March 2013.  (French)
  14. Roche, Jean-Michel (2012). "Du Chayla". netmarine.net. http://www.netmarine.net/bat/ee/duchayla/index.htm. Retrieved 25 March 2013.  (French)
  15. Roche, Jean-Michel (2012). "Casabianca". netmarine.net. http://www.netmarine.net/bat/ee/casabian/index.htm. Retrieved 25 March 2013.  (French)
  16. Roche, Jean-Michel (2012). "Guépratte". netmarine.net. http://www.netmarine.net/bat/ee/guepratte/index.htm. Retrieved 25 March 2013.  (French)
  • Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1947-1995

External links[edit | edit source]

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