Ocea launches new OPV for Senegal


French shipbuilder Ocea has launched the OPV 190 Mk II offshore patrol vessel Fouladou for the Senegalese Navy, which ordered the vessel in 2014.

Fouladou was launched on 21 July in Sables d’Olonne in Western France. It is the largest patrol vessel and the first of the OPV 190 type to be built by Ocea.

The 58 metre long aluminium vessel is powered by two MTU 16V4000 diesel engines giving a speed of 24 knots, although maximum range is 5 500 miles and three weeks at 12 knots. Due to its shallow 2.3 metre draft, the vessel can operate close to shore. Two davits on each side of the rear deck are able to launch and recover two RHIBs and Fouladou will be equippe4d with two 7.5 metre boats manufactured by Palfinger. They will be used by boarding teams and special forces. Armament will likely include a cannon and machineguns.

As the OPV will be used for maritime patrol, fisheries protection, search and rescue, countering piracy and marine pollution, it features diver facilities and a detention cell. The large rear deck can accept various mission modules.

Sea trials will take place in August before delivery to Senegal in October. The vessel will be crewed by 24 sailors, but can accommodate an extra eight if necessary. Ocea’s contract with Senegal includes training, maintenance and technical support.

Ocea previously delivered the Samba Laobe Fall to Senegal in March 2008. It has also delivered 21 vessels between 24 and 35 metres to Algeria, four to Nigeria and three to Benin.

Senegal’s navy has around 900 sailors and thirty vessels that patrol 700 kilometres of coastline and 159 000 square kilometres of exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Senegal’s Navy recently received a RPB 33 vessel (Ferlo) from Raidco Marine, which entered service in October 2013, and a 45 metre patrol vessel (Kedougou) that was delivered by STX Lorient last year.

The largest vessel in Senegal’s Navy is the 58 metre NJambuur, build in 1981 but upgraded by Raidco around 15 years ago. Other vessels in service include the 47 metre vessels Poponguine and Podor, a single 32 metre Conejera class vessel acquired from Spain in 2012; two RPB 20 and four FPR 12 patrol boats, the landing craft Goree and Carabane and fisheries research vessel Itaf Deme.