FS Jean Bart (D615) is the second of two warships built to the Cassard-class standard. The group is led by FS Cassard (D614) - detailed elsewhere on this site - and both are in active service with the French fleet as of this writing (2018). The types are outfitted for the air defense / airspace denial role with ranged weapons to counter such threats. Conventional weapons, as well as anti-ship / anti-submarine systems, are also carried to make the ships true "multirole" vessels and a vital component of French fleet actions.
FS Jean Bart saw her keel laid down by shipbuilder DCNS S.A. on February 12th, 1986 and she was launched to sea on March 19th, 1988. Her formal commissioning occurred on September 21st, 1991. She carries the name of French privateer Jean Bart and is not the first French Navy ship to do so.
As built, FS Jean Bart displaces at 4,500 tons and has a bow-to-stern length of 456 feet with a beam measuring 46 feet and a draught down to 20 feet. Power is from 4 x Pielstick PA6 BTC series marine diesel units along with 4 x Diesel alternators driving a pair of shafts under stern. The ship can make headway at speeds up to 25 knots out to a range of 8,000 nautical miles.
The warship showcases a traditional design arrangement that includes a single turreted deck gun over the forecastle, an elevated bridge section and a single main mast. A forward and aft superstructure are divided by a gap at midships. Over the stern is a single-helicopter helipad that supports a medium-lift type. Aboard is a crew of 244 men. Sensors and systems abound in this vessel and includes search-and-tracking radars, fire control assistants, navigational aids and decoy/jammer systems.
Primary armament is a single Mk 13 launcher for 40 x SM-1MR surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) and 2 x Sadral sextuple launchers for 39 x Mistral SAMs. There are also 8 x MM40 "Exocet" anti-ship missiles and 2 x Torpedo tubes with 10 x Reloads for the latter. The deck gun is a Creusot-Loire Compact 100mm /55 caliber Mod 68 Dual-Purpose (DP) system with unobstructed views of the action ahead of the ship and to its sides. Close-range defense is provided by 2 x 20mm F2 series AA guns and extreme-close-in defense by up to 4 x 12.7mm heavy machine guns.
Notable actions involving Jean Bart to date have been anti-piracy actions in 2008 and joint operations with allied fleets such as the United States Navy in 2011 and again in 2014.