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Today I invite you to join me on a photographic foray aboard the BPC Dixmude, the third of the multi-mission amphibious landing helicopter docks to be delivered by STX and DCNS to the French Navy ... three months ahead of schedule, an achievement so rare in the defense sector that it is worth stressing!The ship was delivered to the DGA French procurement agency on January 3 and officially handed over to the navy on January 14, a ceremony attended by Gérard Longuet, the French defense minister and Admiral Bernard Rogel, the navy chief of staff.Let's start with a quiz: The Dixmude was berthed next to the BPC Tonnerre which is in the foreground of the photo below. Can you spot the only major visible difference between the two (apart from the scaffolding I mean)?Here she is up close.This is the command postwith clear views both down to the flight deckand through windows in the floor you can see vertically down the hullWhen there's no water in the well-deck the space would make a great ball-room!Easy access from here for armored vehicles, trucks etc. up to the next deckOK, did you spot the difference? It lies in the 11th deck up at the top. The Tonnerre has a thick bar across the middle of the windows while the Dixmude has a clear pane, as you can see in the illustration below.Photos: Christina Mackenzie
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