Socarenam and CNN MCO have been awarded a contract to build six new overseas patrol vessels for the French Navy, the country’s Ministry of the Armed Forces announced.
The contract was notified to the companies by the French defense procurement agency, DGA (Direction générale de l’armement, “Directorate General of Armaments”), on December 24, 2019.
The order of six new overseas patrol vessels, under the POM (Patrouilleur Outre-mer, “overseas patrol”) program, was announced by French President Emmanuel Macron at the Maritime Economy Conference (Assises de l’économie de la mer) on December 3, 2019. This was following a ministerial investment committee meeting held on November 19, 2019, during which Florence Parly, the Minister of the Armed Forces, has decided to launch the program.
The patrol vessels are to be deployed for maritime protection duties in French overseas territories of New Caledonia and French Polynesia in the South Pacific Ocean, and Réunion in the Indian Ocean.
The vessels will ensure sovereignty and protection missions in the French Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ), intervention against maritime pollution and in favor of the preservation of the environment, as well as rescue and assistance missions. Due to its numerous overseas departments and territories scattered on all oceans of the planet, France has the largest EEZ in the world, at about 4,514,000 square miles.
With extensive capacities, the vessels will be able to carry out missions for up to 30 days without refueling with a crew of 30 sailors, embark 23 passengers and operate an aerial drone. The armament will include a 20mm remote-operated turret along with 12.7 and 7.62mm gun mounts.
The six new overseas patrol vessels will be delivered between 2022 and 2025. Two vessels each will be based at Nouméa in New Caledonia, Papeete in French Polynesia and Pointe des Galets in Réunion. These vessels will replace the older generation of patrol boats currently based there.
Technical characteristics of the POM vessels designed in collaboration with MAURIC:
• Length: 79.9 m
• Beam: 11.8 m
• Draft: 3.50 m
• Light displacement / full load: 1158t / 1298t
• Crew: 30 sailors – Passengers: 23
• Speed: 24 knots
• Range: 5,500 nautical miles at 12 knots