Senegalese OPV on delivery voyage


Senegal’s latest naval acquisition, the offshore patrol vessel Fouladou, has left France on its delivery voyage and will soon arrive in Senegal.

The 58 metre long vessel was handed over by Ocea on 26 October and departed France on 28 October. She is due to arrive home on 7 November, according to Mer et Marine. Her route will take her to Morocco and then Senegal.

The Fouladou is constructed from aluminium and can reach a top speed of 26 knots. Aluminium gives a lighter weight than steel and results in lower operating costs, although it is softer and less resistant to fire.

Power is provided by two MTU 16V4000 M73 diesel engines delivering 2 560 kW driving two fixed pitch propellers. A bow thruster makes it easy to get in and out of ports. Range is up to 5 500 miles at 12 knots or three weeks without refuelling. Crew complement is 24 but another 35 people can be accommodated on board.

Sensors include a Safran Vigy Observer system that uses an infrared camera and laser rangefinder. Armament includes a 30 mm remotely operated cannon supplied by MSI Defence Systems and two 12.7 mm machineguns.

When she enters service, the Fouladou will take on a variety of tasks including fisheries enforcement, pollution control, counter piracy, search and rescue, counter trafficking and smuggling etc. Assisting in these missions are two Palfinger FRSQ 700 boats 7.5 metres in length. They can reach speeds of more than 35 knots and are launched and recovered by davits. Apprehended suspects can be held in a detention area at the back of the vessel and there is a facility for divers. The large rear deck can accept various mission modules.

The OPV 190 Mk II offshore patrol vessel was launched on 21 July at Sables d’Olonne in western France. Sea trials took place from August – 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.