French shipyard Piriou is carrying out sea trials of the Niani, the second of three OPV 58S patrol vessels destined for Senegal, indicating delivery is imminent.
The Niani was at the beginning of September seen around Lorient, France, for sea trials, after having been completed at the Concarneau shipyard, Mer et Marine reports.
Niani was launched in September 2022 while the third vessel, Cayor, was launched on 2 May – it will be delivered early next year.
The order, signed in November 2019, is being fulfilled by 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.
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 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).