The French defense procurement agency, DGA has ordered 11 EDO rigid inflatable boats (RIBs) from Zodiac Milpro International for the French Navy.
The contract was notified by DGA (Direction générale de l’armement “Directorate General of Armament) ön May 4.
The EDO (Embarcation de Drome Operationelle, Operational Drome Boats) boats are embarked on French Navy surface vessels to conduct operational missions such as water surveillance missions and self-defense, search and rescue missions and assistance in man overboard scenarios. The Navy currently has sixty EDO boats in service.
The newly procured RIBs will be deployed aboard the Mistral-class amphibious helicopter carriers (PHA), Mistral (L9013) and Tonnerre (L9014); the La Fayette-class multi-mission stealth frigate La Fayette (F 710); and the missile range instrumentation ship (BEM) Monge (A601).
The main characteristics of the EDO boats are:
+ a full load displacement of 3.4 tonnes;
+ 7 m long, 2.60 m wide;
+ speed of 30 knots in the “rescue boat” version with 5 people on board, speed of around 20 knots when traveling fully loaded with 14 people on board;
+ transport of a crew of 2 people + an intervention team of 12 people.
The first EDO boat is expected to be delivered in March 2021, with the remaining ten boats delivered by February 2022.