French shipyard CMN (Constructions Mecaniques de Normandie) has started the manufacture of two landing craft tank (LCT) vessels for an undisclosed African country.
As reported by Actu.fr, the vessels are being built on behalf of Privinvest and will be delivered in 2023 and 2025, according to Serge Quaranta, CEO of CMN.
This is a follow-on to a 2016 contract by Privinvest for around 20 vessels destined for an African country, the publication reports.
The 70 metre long vessels will be able to carry 200 tons of payload, including 260 soldiers in addition to the crew of 18. Watertight bulkheads ensure survivability in the event of damage. A 5.25 metre boat can be launched by a crane.
Each LCT will be powered by two diesel engines driving two fixed-pitch propellers and giving a speed of 16 knots.
The LCTs are the largest vessels to be built by CMN since the corvette Baynunah (71 metres long), delivered to the United Arab Emirates in 2011.
CMN has sold vessels to other African countries, including Angola and Mozambique. In 2016, Privinvest announced it would establish a shipyard in Angola and supply several naval vessels under a 495 million euro deal. Privinvest has facilities and shipyards in a number of countries including France (CMN), Germany (German Naval Yards Kiel) and the Middle East.
According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), the 2016 Angolan deal included three HSI 32 patrol craft, which were delivered in 2019, and a long range offshore patrol vessel and a short range patrol vessel from France. The patrol vessels are believed to be Vigilante-1400 and Vigilante-400 models built by CMN. Photos recently emerged confirming the HSI 32s in Angolan service.
The HSI 32 is also in service with Mozambique, which in September 2013 signed a controversial 200 million euro deal with CMN to build the three Ocean Eagle 43s, three HIS 32 interceptors and 24 fishing vessels over a two year period. The HSI 32s were delivered to Mozambique from 2016.