Senegal has placed an order for three 62 meters Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV) from French shipbuilder PIRIOU.
The vessels which are the OPV 58 S, a missile armed patrol vessel dedicated to surveillance, identification and intervention missions.
The contract was signed on November 17, with construction to start in early 2020 while their delivery is set to take place by mid-2023.
Included in the contract is a follow on support which will be conducted at PIRIOU NGOM site in Senegal.
The OPV 58 S can undertake a variety of missions due to its robust and versatile nature. Amongst such missions is its anti-surface warfare and anti-aircraft deterrent capability through a potent array of offensive weapons systems.
Other innovative features of the OPV 58 S is its large 360 ° panoramic bridge, a rapid launch and recovery system at the stern for two RHIBs and a C-Sharp hull form providing optimized range and sea-keeping.
With a crew of 48 (24 crew + 24 mission personnel) and a maximum speed of 12 knots, the OPV 58 S can stay at sea for 25 days or travel 4,500 nautical miles.
While its performance is quite impressive, its armaments load out is even better.
The weapons suite of the OPV 58 S consist of; a 76mm main gun by Leonardo, four SIMBAD-RC surface to air missiles, four 12.7mm manned machine guns, two Nexter 20mm remote weapon stations and four Marte MK2/N anti-ship missiles placed forward of the ship.
Also, according to Naval News, Naval Group will supply the POLARIS combat management system.
Gulf of Guinea security
Due to an increased maritime security challenges in the Gulf of Guinea, the Senegalese Navy is upping its ante to counter illicit maritime activity.
Senegal is also set to host the Africa Maritime Security Forum which will reveal Senegal’s impressive naval base and fleet capabilities to the international community as well as their commitment to international navy cooperation.
Furthermore, the Senegalese Navy on April 2019, ordered two RPB 33 patrol boats from Raidco Marine, both patrol boats are currently being built at the UFAST Shipyard.