Kership, a joint venture of PIRIOU and DCNS, has secured a contract from the French Navy to deliver four offshore support and assistance vessels (BSAH), as well as associated maintenance.
Awarded by the French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA), the contract includes a firm order for two vessels and an option for two further vessels.
The latest development will see the design and construction of 70m-long vessels with a fully-laden displacement of approximately 2,600t.The BSAHs delivered under this contract are expected to be deployed for state operations at sea.
Piriou Group CEO Pascal Piriou said: "It is the winning combination of a bid that was convincing both in terms of technical content and pricing and with regard to the industrial solution, based on 100% production in France.
"Kership has clearly become the fulcrum of our collaboration with DCNS, in which we are focusing the specific expertise necessary to win future export orders thanks to the visibility created by the B2M and BSAH contracts."
PIRIOU will be responsible for the design and construction of the vessels, while DCNS will offer the on-board communications systems and provide the through-life support (TLS) over a period of up to five years.
The first two units are expected to be delivered in 2018, while the delivery of remaining two units is scheduled for 2019.
With a towing capacity of 80t, the new vessels will have a speed of 14k and significant autonomy of approximately 30 days of operation without refuelling.
In addition, the vessels will be installed with an 8m-long working boat and semi-rigid boats, along with a crane allowing the embarkation and disembarkation of containers.
The vessels will also feature divers, transport weapons, and ammunition. They will also provide submarine support during stopover, and deploy an anti-pollution barrier.
In June, DCNS delivered the French Frégate européenne multi-mission (FREMM) frigate Provence to the French Navy.
Image: The BSAHs delivered under this contract are expected to be deployed for State operations at sea. Photo: courtesy of KERSHIP.