The French Navy has commissioned the fourth Engin de Débarquement Amphibie Rapide (EDA-R) fast amphibious landing craft, which was delivered in November 2012 as part of a contract awarded to Constructions Industrial Mediterranean (CNIM) in 2009.
Operated by the French Navy's Mistral-class Bâtiments de Projection et de Commandement (BPC) amphibious warfare ships, the fourth EDA-R vessel is now scheduled to undergo a final phase of operational trials.
Based on a landing catamaran (L-CAT) concept, EDA-R is a fast vessel in transit mode and features central elevating deck that enables it to turn into a flat-bottomed ship to beach or enter an amphibious ship's well deck.
Capable of providing five-times the landing capacity of the French Navy's current landing craft, the 30m-long and 12m-wide catamaran landing craft vessel can carry a payload of 80t.
With a cruising speed of 18k, when fully loaded, the EDA-R will be used for humanitarian missions, as well as for landing military vehicles and troops from ships positioned beyond the horizon (55km).
The first EDA-R (L9091) was delivered to the DGA in November 2011, while the second EDA craft (EDA-R 2) was handed over in January 2012 and is currently in-service with BPC Dixmude for the navy.
The French DGA received the third craft in April 2012.
Two EDA-Rs can be accommodated in the well deck of each new Mistral-class BPC amphibious assault, command and power projection ships.
The 199m-long BPC destroyers have a displacement capacity of 21,500t and can cruise at a speed of 18k.
Image: A French Navy's EDA-R landing craft at sea. Photo: courtesy of Ministère de la Défense 2013.