The presence of France’s Jean Bart frigate in Romania’s city of Constanta reflects France’s importance attached to reassuring measures for the Romanian friends, French ambassador in Bucharest Francois Saint-Pauls said Friday at a news conference.
He added that French has long-going navy tradition and it possess all types of navy ships, including nuclear submarines and a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.
Frigate Commander Olivier de Saint-Julien said his ship is designed for air defence, to protect aircraft carriers, and that besides protecting the Charles de Gaulle carrier, the Jean Bart frigate regularly contributes to the protection of American aircraft carriers as well, because both France and the US are NATO members.
The news conference given by the ambassador and the frigate commander, jointly with the commanders of Romania’s Marasesti and Regina Maria frigates, was preceded by a guided tour for the media of the Jean Bart.
The ship was built in 1991 for a crew of 250; it can cruise at a maximum speed of 29 knots. In addition to the traditional equipment aboard, the frigate also has anti-ship missiles, surface-to-air missiles, a 100-mm cannon and electronic warfare systems.
The Jean Bart is stopping over in Constanta throughout May 23 to attend two military exercises in the Black Sea zone, jointly with the Romanian Navy.
The first drill was conducted on May 19, jointly with the Marasesti frigate. According to Commodore Cornel Cojocaru, the Marasesti commander, it comprised air warfare, search and rescue missions, submarine attacks as well as surface warfare exercises.
A second drill is scheduled for May 23. Attending it on behalf of the Romanian Navy will be the Regina Maria frigate, carrying a IAR 330 Puma Naval helicopter, and a group of special op military divers, the Rear-Admiral Horia Macelariu class corvette, the Zborul missile corvette, the Pescarusul missile corvette, the Lt. Dimitrie Nicolescu minesweeper, the Slt. Alexandru Axente minesweeper and one IAR 330 Puma Naval helicopter. Taking part in the drill on behalf of the Romanian Air Forces will be MIG 21 Lance R aircraft.