The French Ministry of Defense (MoD) has taken delivery of the first multi-purpose ECUME rigid inflatable (RIB) boat from Zodiac Milpro.
The French defence ministry has also placed orders for the supply of nine boats for the French Navy commandos, marking the first part of the investment option.
Designed to meet the needs of French Navy commandos operating in three mission areas including special operations, air-sea operations and activities relating to the protection of the maritime approaches, the ECUME serves as a multi-mission craft that can be deployed individually or as part of a powerful assault group.
The ECUME design is based on the Zodiac Hurricane ZH-935 RIB, which was modified and equipped for high-speed deployment for the navy commandos.
Featuring radio communications capabilities to allow crew to operate as a command post for naval operations when required, the vessel can be deployed by offshore patrol vessels, TCD, PCB and FREMM class frigates while carrying the wide range of weapons and equipment used by commandos.
Powered by two diesel inboard engines designed by Volvo Penta, the 9.30m-long ECUME has a maximum cruising displacement capacity of 7t and can conduct long distance raids at speeds in excess of 40k while accommodating 12 fully equipped navy commandos.
The boat also is fitted with Zodiac Milpro Military Air Channeled Hull (MACH II) to reduce water resistance and enhance directional stability thus maintaining higher speeds with greater fuel economy and safety.
Image: An EC 145 helicopter French Securite Civile - Zodiac Hurricane ZH-930 ECUME. Photo courtesy of Zodiac Milpro.