The Monge (A601), named after the 18th century mathematician Gaspard Monge, is a Missile Range Instrumentation Ship of the French Navy dedicated to tracking and measuring rocket trajectories. She was built for the trials of the Submarine-launched ballistic missiles of the Navy, and is also used to monitor the launch of Ariane rockets.
It is one of the rare ships in the world to have this capacity.
The systems in the Monge allow it to track missiles and satellites. There are two navigation radars and a DRBV 15C air surveillance radar installed. The intelligence systems are a Stratus Gascogne, two Armor-radarsystemy, two Savoie and Antares missile-tracking radars, a laser-radar, and an optical tracking unit, furthermore 14 antennas for telemetry.
The ship is painted white because the normal darker grey of warships would heat up the ship more, which could cause malfunctions of the electronic systems inside. The Monge is currently one of a very few telecommunication vessels in the world. The US and Russian fleets have no equivalent to this ship. Instead they use ground-based stations to track missile flights on 8 to 10 000 km.