The French Direction Générale de l'Armement's (DGA) has awarded a contract to Piriou and DCNS to develop and deliver three multi-mission ocean-going vessels for the French Navy.
The three ships development contract, which has an option for a fourth and the associated maintenance service, is a part of the French Navy's B2M multi-mission ship programme, for which Piriou serves as the lead contractor.
Under the latest contract, DCNS and Piriou will design and construct three 65m-long 1500t multi-purpose ocean-going ships and deliver them to the French Navy in 2015 and 2016 for operation overseas.
Piriou is responsible for the design and the construction of the ships while DCNS is co-contractor with Piriou for the military aspects of the design studies and delivery of the onboard communications systems (SITIP).
DCNS executive vice-president, Bernard Planchais, said that the contract marks joint success between the two firms and enhances the partnership.
"This mark of confidence by the DGA demonstrates the joint capacity of DCNS and PIRIOU to put forward competitive inclusive proposals for the design, construction and maintenance of low and medium-tonnage ships," Planchais said.
Capable of deploying divers and carrying weapons and munitions, the new ships will carry a workboat about 8m-long and semi-rigid boats and will have a long endurance of approximately 30 days of operation without replenishment.
Piriou group chairman and CEO Pascal Piriou said: "Firstly in practical terms, as we needed it to avoid a dip in workload in 2014, but also of course in strategic terms, since it gives substance to our collaboration with DCNS, which is boosted into orbit with excellent prospects for the future, particularly for export."
DCNS is also responsible for in-service support (ISS) of each ship for up to six years, as part of the contract.
The ships will feature a crane for loading and unloading containers and can cruise at a top speed of 12k to 15k.
Image: a multi-mission ocean-going vessel. Photo: courtesy of Piriou.