The Defence Procurement Agency (DGA) has awarded a contract for the preliminary and detailed design works for the French Navy’s ocean patrol vessel (OPV).

The contract was awarded to Naval Group. Its value has not been disclosed.

This contract comes following a framework agreement signed by the French Defence Procurement Agency in October last year regarding the study, development, production and operational maintenance for an initial ten ocean patrol vessels.

Naval Group was awarded the first contract to carry out design and value analysis. This contract was approved by the French Defence Procurement Agency in June this year.

Now the latest award makes it the second contract for Naval Group.

Naval Group stated that it will be awarded another contract for a ship construction monitoring service.

Under the OPV programme, the patrol vessels stationed in mainland France will be renewed.

The high seas patrol vessels (ex-avisos A69) are based in Brest and Toulon, while the public service patrol vessels are based in Cherbourg.

OPVs are required to provide support to deterrence, give autonomous assessment of situations in areas of sovereignty or interest, evacuate nationals, and safeguard national interests during maritime approaches.

The OPV programme is part of an industrial scheme requiring collaboration between entities of the civil and military.

As architect of the complete project, Naval Group is responsible for design of these vessels.

Once the vessels have been designed, the French Defence Procurement Agency will then entrust the construction of vessels to shipyards that were awarded the framework agreement for deliveries between 2025 and 2029.

Commenting on the second phase of the OPV programme, Naval Group said: “Faced with the increase in maritime traffic and the proliferation of threats at sea, Naval Group is proud to contribute to the renewal of France’s naval capabilities by designing multimission vessels that offer the French Navy genuine operational superiority with a situational awareness capability superior to that of the patrol vessels currently in service.”