French shipyard Piriou has launched the first of three missile-armed OPV 58S offshore patrol vessel for Senegal’s Navy, the Walo.
The vessel was floated out at Piriou’s facilities in Concarneau on 11 April, Admiral Oumar Wade, Chief of Staff of the Navy of Senegal was in attendance.
The Senegalese Navy in 2019 ordered three of the missile-firing vessels for surveillance, identification, intervention, and combat missions.
Construction of the three vessels would take place over 44 months, and conclude in mid-2024, with first deliveries from 2023.
PIRIOU in October 2020, held a steel cutting ceremony for the first of three Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV) for the Senegalese Navy.
The second Senegalese Navy’s OPV 58S offshore patrol vessel currently being built by French shipyard Piriou has left the dry dock and has been launched into the sea for final fitting out.
The second vessel was floated out on 2 February by Kership, a joint venture between Piriou and Naval Group. It has now moved onward to Concarneau where alongside the first vessel of its class will be outfitted with its armament, sensors, and propulsion system.
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.
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.
Engine manufacturer MAN Energy Solutions will supply the engines for three OPV 58S patrol boats, as well as for two Israel Shipyards vessels ordered by Ivory Coast.
The OPV 58 S patrol vessels are armed with four MBDA anti-ship missiles (Marte Mk 2Ns) and the MBDA SIMBAD-RC air defence system with two Mistral 3 surface-to-air missiles, along with a 76 mm gun and possibly two 20 mm Narwhal cannons.
France’s Naval Group will supply the combat management system (POLARIS).