Senegal has ordered a 58 metre offshore patrol vessel from France’s OCEA, as it prepares to take delivery of a 45 metre vessel from STX.
The OPV 190 Mk II vessel will be delivered to Senegal’s navy in late 2016, according to Mer et Marine. Rumours of a possible acquisition surfaced in mid-2014.
Senegal’s vessel will be made in three segments at the Ocea site in Fontenay-le-Comte and transferred to Les Sables d’Olonne for final assembly.
The OPV 190 is a 58 m (190 foot) long, 9.4 metre wide vessel made from aluminium for less corrosion and lighter weight. Its shallow draft (2.3 metres) allows operation close to the shore. It has a crew of 30 but can take 24 passengers on board. Range is between 4 and 5 000 km at 12 knots, while maximum speed is 30 knots. Endurance is three weeks.
OCEA says the vessel can be used for missions such as law enforcement, exclusive economic zone (EEZ) surveillance, immigration control, search and rescue, anti-smuggling, disaster relief, fisheries patrol, anti-piracy etc.
For the offshore patrol vessel (OPV) role the ship can be equipped with sensors and weapons such as machineguns and cannons as well as two 7.5 metre speedboats, lowered into the water via davits. Various options are available for different missions, such as a holding cell, water cannons etc.
The acquisition of the OCEA OPV comes as Senegal’s new 45 metre vessel Kedougou undergoes sea trials ahead of delivery. The vessel was launched by French shipyard STX Lorient in October last year and was seen undergoing sea trials in December. Senegal ordered the OPV from Raidco Marine, which subcontracted construction to the STX Lorient shipyard.
The Kedougou is 45.6 metres long, 8.4 metres wide and crewed by 17, with the option of accommodating four to eight passengers such as special forces personnel. The vessel has a steel hull and aluminium superstructure. It is powered by two Cummins engines developing 1 940 kW. Endurance is ten days with a range of 2 000 nautical miles. It is able to launch two small boats.
Senegalese Navy Commander Serigne Fallou Diouf at the launch said the new vessel was part of the country’s plan to renew its naval fleet and allow the maritime arm of service to carry out missions such as fisheries inspection, fighting drug trafficking and piracy.
As part of its expansion process, Senegal’s Navy in the third quarter of 2013 took delivery of the Ferlo, a Raidco RPB 33 offshore patrol vessel. The 33 metre long vessel can accommodate a crew of 17 and travel 1 500 miles at 15 knots for an endurance of one week at sea, although top speed is over 40 knots. Armament includes a 20 mm cannon and two 12.7 mm machineguns and a boat can be launched from its stern.
Senegal has ordered vessels from OCEA in the past, placing an order for four FPB 98 Mk I patrol boats in October 2012.