Get ready to dive into the exciting developments in the French Armament General Directorate's orders for seven ocean patrol vessels, a deal worth a cool 900 million euros. This is the latest chapter in the journey to replace the P400 patrol vessels and Estiennes d'Orves Marine class avisos.
The BATSIMAR Program
The ambitious BATSIMAR program had initially intended to completely replace the current fleet. Unfortunately, due to budget constraints and other fiscal demands, the program had to be divided. This resulted in a delayed renewal of the A69 avisos and Flamant-type public service patrol boats.
Military Programming Law (LPM) 2019-25
Under the guidelines of the Military Programming Law (LPM) 2019-25, there were plans to acquire ten new units. This led to the official initiation of the “Ocean Patrol Vessel” program in 2020. The program focuses on the study, development, realization, and operational maintenance of future ships involving key players such as the Naval Group, CMN, Socarenam, and Piriou.
Design and Manufacturing
Naval Group was trusted with the “preliminary and detailed design” of the high-seas patrol vessels, a phase that lasted 19 months. The manufacturing of these vessels is now in the hands of selected shipyards. The expectation is to have the first two units delivered in 2025.
Order and Contracts
The order for seven ocean patrol vessels, worth 900 million euros, was made public in November. This was divided into three separate contracts. The “Production contract” was given to CMN, Piriou, and Socarenam. Naval Group was chosen to manage the project and to create the combat direction system. Thales was assigned to supply the most recent generation of maritime surveillance equipment.
Expectations for the Future
The Military Programming Law 2024-2030 predicts ten high-seas patrol vessels in service by 2035, with the first delivery slated for 2026. The first phase of this program is based on acquiring seven vessels.
Essential Features of the Patrol Vessels
The patrol vessels are expected to displace 2000 tonnes and measure approximately 90 meters in length. They will be armed with a minimum of a 40mm RapidFire 40 CTA canon and will have the capacity to implement a helicopter or an onboard aerial drone.