French Helicopter Cruiser Jeanne D' Arc (Joan of Arc)

The Jeanne d'Arc (R97) is a helicopter cruiser of the French Navy.



She is the third vessel of the French Navy named after Joan of Arc ("Jeanne d'Arc", in French), a national heroine of France and saint of the Catholic Church who repelled the English invasion during the Hundred Years' War.


In peace time, the Jeanne d'Arc is used for teaching and training purposes; however, in case of emergency or crisis, she was to become a fully capable helicopter cruiser. This idea is now dropped because of the increasing size and weight of helicopters.

In peace time, Jeanne d'Arc is a teaching and training vessel for the naval officers' application academy, and at the same time possesses an aerial group of two Aérospatiale Puma helicopters and two Aérospatiale Gazelle helicopters of the light aviation of the French Army, as well as two helicopters Alouette III of naval aviation.

Jeanne d'Arc can go on combat missions, either in anti-submarine warfare with eight WG 13 Lynx helicopters, either in external missions by carrying Puma or Gazelle helicopters from the light aviation of the French Army. Initially, she was also able to carry landing troops and Sikorsky or Super Frelon helicopters.

Jeanne d'Arc can carry about ten light or heavy helicopters. She can simultaneously handle the take-off and landing of three helicopters.

JEANNE D’ ARC CLASS Specifications
Country of Manufacture France
Number in Service 1
Crew 46 officers and 473 ratings
Armament  Six Exocet missiles, two 100 mm gun turrets, two Puma helicopters, 2 Gazelle helicopters and 2 Alouette III helicopters or eight Lynx WG 13 Helicopters
Length 182m
Beam 24m
Draught 7.5m
Displacement 12,000 tonnes
Powerplant Four 10,000 hp engines
Performance Speed 28 knots, range 7,500 miles
First of Class 1964