Piriou launches first OPV 58S for Senegal


French shipyard Piriou has launched the first OPV 58S offshore patrol vessel for Senegal’s Navy, the Walo.

The vessel was floated out at Piriou’s facilities in Concarneau on 11 April in the presence of Admiral Oumar Wade, Chief of Staff of the Navy of Senegal.

Senegal ordered three OPV 58S vessels from Piriou in late 2019. The French shipyard said construction would take place over 44 months, and conclude in mid-2024, with first deliveries from 2023. Construction of the hulls is being divided between Concarneau and Lanester, near Lorient, where the Kership shipyard is located. Kership is a partnership between Piriou and Naval Group.

The contract also includes several years of 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.

In February this year, Piriou floated out the second OPV 58S and is now fitting it with its armament. The third vessel is nearly fully assembled.

The OPV 58S offshore patrol vessels for Senegal are 62 metres long, 9.5 metres wide and have a maximum draft of 2.9 metres. They have steel hulls and aluminium superstructures with a 360 degree panoramic bridge, a rapid deployment/recovery system for two boats and be each able to accommodate up to 48 people, including 24 crew members. Top speed is 21 knots with a range of 4 500 miles at 12 knots, for a 25 day endurance.

A large rear deck can accommodate two 20-foot containers, handled by a crane (7.5 t to 8 m). This aft deck will end at the stern with a double ramp for two 7-meter RHIBs.

The vessels will be 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 and possibly two 20 mm Narwhal cannons, although this is not confirmed. France’s Naval Group will supply the combat management system (POLARIS).