DCNS showcases L’Adroit offshore patrol vessel in Gulf of Guinea


French shipbuilder DCNS has showcased its L’Adroit offshore patrol vessel (OPV) and Polaris mission system in the Gulf of Guinea, with demonstrations in several West African countries.

DCNS said last week that it had successfully conducted three demonstrations of its Polaris mission system, in conjunction with the interoperable NIDL tactical data link solution during stopovers conducted by the French Navy in Cameroon, Ivory Coast and Senegal in May and June this year.

DCNS conducted three demonstration operations for Polaris and NIDL on 28 May in Douala (Cameroon), 10 June in Abidjan (Ivory Coast) and 22 June in Dakar (Senegal).

Polaris is an on-board mission system that makes use of a wide variety of sensors and automatically detects and analyses suspicious air and sea behaviour.
“The simulation of a sea-rescue and offender interception scenario under real conditions required the deployment of the Polaris mission system in a land-based centre as well as on board L’Adroit, an OPV built by DCNS on its own funds and loaned, free of charge, to the French navy. The representatives of the Cameroonian, Ivory Coast and Senegalese Navies each provided their support to the real-time deployment of data-transmission capacities between the land-based operations centre and the OPV deployed at sea,” the French shipyard said.

Xavier Mesnet, Marketing and Development Director at DCNS, stated: “Working together with the French Navy, DCNS participates in numerous support operations to strengthen the maritime security system and Government action at sea. Faced with an increase in criminal (piracy, drugs trafficking) and illicit (illegal fishing, illegal immigration, pollution) activities, the Group is developing open-architecture and modular maritime surveillance and intervention solutions to provide a response to the sovereignty needs of States, including within the context of coalition operations.”

From 24 to 26 June 2015, at the Brest maritime prefecture in France, DCNS also participated in an inter-governmental seminar dedicated to cooperation in the area of maritime security and safety in the presence of sixteen chiefs of staff from the Navies of Gulf of Guinea neighbouring states and four European states, on the invitation of the Chief of Staff of the French Navy.

Through the Corymbe mission implemented since 1990 by the French Navy in the Gulf of Guinea, DCNS ships have been demonstrating the interoperability of their systems in the area of the fight against piracy, in support of the States of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and West African States (ECOWAS).

L’Adroit recently visited Cape Town in the middle of May. The current Gowind design does not meet the state requirements for Project Biro, which calls for three inshore and three offshore patrol vessels for the South African Navy (SAN). However the design is being promoted to other African countries. DCNS is working with Paramount on other potential sales, Paramount said.

L’Adroit left her home port of Toulon in France on March 10 with the main mission of participating in Operation Atalanta, the EU anti-piracy mission off the east coast of Africa. Having passed through the Suez Canal and while in Djibouti, the vessel was urgently retasked following the start of conflict in Yemen.

For two weeks, L’Adroit was involved in the evacuation of both French nationals and refugees. Having evacuated 109 French nationals, the vessel escorted several hundred Djiboutian nationals and foreigners in transit between the Yemeni port of al-Moka and Djibouti, during the course of which L’Adroit transferred its medical team to a dhow to take care of sick passengers.

With the Yemen tasking completed by April 14, L’Adroit continued with her Operation Atalanta mission for the following 14 days, undertaking surveillance along the Somali coast.

Thereafter, the vessel steamed south, patrolling the Exclusive Economic Zones of various French foreign territories in the Indian Ocean and Mozambique Channel. After departing Cape Town on May 17, L’Adroit transited up the west coast of Africa.