The contract was awarded by The French Defense Procurement Agency (DGA) to KERSHIP, a joint company created by PIRIOU and DCNS to ensure the management of the program. The contract includes a firm order for two vessels and an option for two further vessels.
PIRIOU will ensure the design and construction of the vessels, which are characterized by a high degree of versatility and autonomy of 30 days. DCNS, in its capacity as a co-contractor for military design studies, will supply the on-board communications systems and will be responsible for the Through-Life Support (TLS) over a period of up to five years.
Pascal Piriou, CEO of the PIRIOU Group, said: “This contract represents a significant share of our workload in France for the next three years. It is the winning combination of a bid that was convincing both in terms of technical content and pricing and with regard to the industrial solution, based on 100% production in France. KERSHIP has clearly become the fulcrum of our collaboration with DCNS in which we are focusing the specific expertise necessary to win future export orders thanks to the visibility created by the B2M and BSAH contracts.”
Pierre Legros, Director of Programs at DCNS, said: “DCNS has consolidated its position as a major partner of the French Navy by offering its client, in partnership with Piriou, vessels that meet the exact needs of the operational units. Through its joint company KERSHIP, DCNS is able to offer a complete catalogue of compact and mid-range vessels, backed by French specialists, from offshore patrol vessels to specialist support vessels (the B2M and BSAH multi-mission vessels). KERSHIP is also able to capitalize on the original experience of the OPV L’Adroit, developed by DCNS with its own funding and placed at the disposal of the French Navy for the last four years.”
This contract covers the design and construction of 70-metre vessels with a fully-laden displacement of about 2,600 tons. The first two units are due for delivery in 2018, with the other two units due in 2019.
The diversity of missions required by the French Navy led to the proposal of a Supply Vessel-type ship with a towing capacity of 80 tons, a speed of 14 knots and significant autonomy of about 30 days of operation without refueling. The vessels will be equipped with an 8-metre working boat and semi-rigid boats as well as a crane allowing the embarkation and disembarkation of containers, and can also accommodate divers, transport weapons and ammunition, provide support to a submarine during stopover, and deploy an anti-pollution barrier.