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In brief

Discover “Tonnerre”, the helicopter carrier that stopped over at Port Hercule

Communications Director / Manuel Vitali

Prince Albert II visited this impressive military ship.


If you’ve been hanging around Port Hercule, you’re bound to have seen this imposing ship, 200 metres long, 32 metres wide and weighing 20,000 tonnes. The “Tonnerre”, an amphibious helicopter carrier (AHC) – meaning a warship used to carry out an assault on land from the sea – was docked in Monaco this weekend.

Prince Albert II visited this behemoth on Saturday 27 August in the late afternoon, in the presence of 220 crew members. The AHC’s commander Guillaume Tandonnet spoke to Monaco Info to present its missions: “The first mission is to deploy helicopters, up to sixteen army helicopters can be embarked on board the AHC. The second main mission is amphibious: landing craft will enter the AHC, in order to disembark the army troops that are stationed on board. Up to 80 vehicles can be loaded on board the AHC.”

As one of the three helicopter carriers of the French Navy, the “Tonnerre” has served in several operations, including Libya, the West Indies and Lebanon, after the explosion in the port of Beirut. In recent weeks, and as every two years, the AHC has carried out a conditioning exercise to ensure that the ship is still operational.

After a two-day stopover in the port of Monaco to allow the troops to rest, the “Tonnerre” set sail again on Sunday 28 August, heading for Toulon.