Piriou hands over first OPV 58S patrol vessel to Senegal

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French shipyard Piriou has handed over the first of three OPV 58S patrol vessels to Senegal’s Navy as part of a contract signed in November 2019.

Construction of the first vessel, Walo, bean in October 2020 and it was launched in April 2022 before being handed over at Piriou’s shipyard in Concarneau on 2 June. The handover ceremony was attended by Senega’s defence minister Sidiki Kaba and Chief of Staff of the Senegalese Navy, Rear-Admiral Abdou Sene.

The delivery of the Walo will be followed by the second vessel, Niani, later this year (Niani was launched in September 2022). The third vessel, Cayor, was launched on 2 May and will be delivered early next year.

The construction programme is being conducted with the support of Kership, the joint venture founded by Piriou and Naval Group in 2013. Construction of the hulls is being divided between Concarneau and Lanester, near Lorient, where the Kership shipyard is located. The contract includes seven years of follow-on support in Senegal, with the vessels to be supported in Senegal by Piriou subsidiary Pirou Ngom Senegal, created in October 2017 through a partnership with Ngom & Freres. This facility is dedicated to the maintenance of naval and commercial vessels as well as the construction of small fishing craft.

The vessels have a length of 62.2 meters, displacement of 600 tonnes, a top speed of 21 knots and range of 4 500 nautical miles at 12 knots. Endurance is three weeks with a crew of 24, although another 24 personnel can be accommodated.

The OPV 58 S design is based on the ‘C-Sharp’ (Combined-Speeds Hull with All-Round Performances) hull developed by Piriou and Kership, which increases the ship’s endurance and seagoing capabilities. The hull is all-steel with an aluminium superstructure, featuring a 360° panoramic bridge and an aft ramp for the rapid launch and recovery of two rigid-hull inflatable boats. A large rear deck can accommodate two 20-foot containers, handled by a crane (7.5 t to 8 m).

The vessels are armed with four MBDA anti-ship missiles (Marte Mk 2Ns) and the MBDA SIMBAD-RC air defence system with two Mistral 3 surface-to-air missiles, along with a 76 mm gun. France’s Naval Group supplies the combat management system (POLARIS).