French-Australian mateship at sea [fr]
On Tuesday, June 4, off the coast of Australia, the French Navy frigate Vendémiaire based in Nouméa resplenished at sea (RAS) with Australian tanker HMAS Success OR304 based in Sydney.
Despite heavy sea conditions with a sea state 5 and winds of up to 35 knots (65 km / h) Success was able to top-up Vendémiaire fuel tanks thanks to a 4 hours long refueling.
Success also ensured the pax transfer of a crew member of Vendémiaire returning from France and the delivery of spare parts, thus enabling the frigate to regain its full operational potential even though she is returning from a 3 months deployment in the Indo-Pacific.
This refueling shows the interoperability of the navies of our two countries but also the spirit of "mateship" that drives our military relationship. Indeed the frigate had to cancel a stopover. But no need for a "pit stop" for the navies of our two countries: this refueling at sea has allowed the Vendémiaire to regain without delays its capacity to be deployed for new missions.
This mateship is also highlighted by the authorization given by the Australian Maritime Operations center to Vendemiaire to sail inside the territorial waters sheltered by the great barrier reef from the storm raging over the high sea.
Moreover this refueling is a strong sign of the durability of our defense cooperation.
Indeed this replenishment at sea of a French Navy ship was the last RAS of a foreign warship by the Success which was built in Australia 33 years ago using a French design. If the end is soon for Success it is not the case for our defense equipment cooperation that thrives today with programs such as the Attack class submarines Attack.
Fair wind and following sea to HMAS Success for its last nautical miles and to FNS Vendémiaire for its next mission!