In a rather crowded West India Dock, we welcome the French Navy ship (M652) Céphée which was formerly in the Belgian Navy and known as (M919) Fuchsia. The Céphée is one the Tripartite class of mine warfare vessel mainly used by the navies of Belgium, France and the Netherlands.
The Tripartite Class of vessels was a joint venture of the navies of Belgium, France and the Netherlands which were conceived in the 1970s and built in the 1980s. France built the mine-hunting equipment, Belgium provided the electronics, and the Netherlands constructed the propulsion. France and the Netherlands originally bought 15, with Belgium buying 10.
All three countries’ Tripartite ships contribute at times to NATO’s Standing Maritime MCM capability groups (SNMCMG1 or SNMCMG2) and are quite often seen in the dock when they visit during NATO exercises.
The ship is 51.5 m (169 ft) long, with a beam of 8.96 m (29.4 ft) and has a range of 3,000 nautical miles (5,600 km) at 12 knots (22 km/h) The ship usually carries a crew of 4 officers, 15 non-commissioned officers and 17 sailors.
There is usually little information about how long the ship will be in dock or the purpose of the visit.