DCNS has completed the hull assembly of the first Gowind Class offshore patrol vessel (OPV) at the group’s Lorient shipyard, which is scheduled for launch this spring.

The new OPV has been designed to carry out maritime surveillance and a wide range of coast guard and naval missions.

The company is working towards completing the ship in 20 months for delivery in late 2011 to the French Navy for three years.

The French Navy will demonstrate Gowind’s relevance and operational worth by conducting missions from area surveillance to anti-piracy, counterterrorism, humanitarian aid, search and rescue, and maritime safety and security.

The 87m-long OPV offers three weeks’ blue-water endurance, a range of 8,000nm and can cruise at a speed of 21kt.

The OPV can accommodate an organic helicopter and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) as well as 30 passengers.