The French Navy’s third Mistral / BPC-type force projection and command vessel, BPC Dixmude, is to undergo combat system integration over the next six months in Toulon, France.

DCNS will integrate the ship’s combat system which includes the communications, navigation and combat management systems.

The 199m-long BPC Dixmude has a displacement capacity of 21,500t, can cruise at a speed of 19kt and can accommodate 450 troops and 16 heavy helicopters, including options for one or more landing craft and armoured vehicles.

BPCs also features a high-performance communications suite, 3D surveillance radar and a Senit 9 combat management system (CMS).

The ship is scheduled for delivery to French defence procurement agency DGA in early 2012 for entry into active service later in the year.

The DGA ordered BPC Dixmude in April 2009 as part of an economic stimulus package, and the vessel is being built at the STX France shipyard in Saint-Nazaire in cooperation with DCNS.

The first two Mistral Class force projection and command vessels, BPC Mistral and BPC Tonnerre, were delivered to the French Navy in 2006 and 2007 respectively.