NIANI; the second ocean-going missile-armed patrol vessel for the Senegalese Navy, has been launched in Concarneau on September 13, 2022, by French Piriou Shipyard. This stage marks a significant step in the progress of the programme for the supply of three offshore patrol vessels.
According to Vincent Faujour, Chairman of the PIRIOU Group, “It is an important event for this boat but also more broadly for the OPV58S programme! Thanks to the motivation of the PIRIOU and KERSHIP personnel and the continuous working partnership with the representatives of the Senegalese Naval Staff, we are progressing according to schedule.”
Niani was floated out on 2 February by Kership, a joint venture between Piriou and Naval Group and was moved to Concarneau where alongside the first vessel of its class ‘Walo’ will be outfitted with its armament, sensors, and propulsion system.
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 is part of the Senegalese Navy fleet recapitalisation efforts which began in 2019. This acquisition was first unveiled during the Africa Maritime Security Forum (AMSF 2020) held between 20th – 22nd January 2020 in Dakar, Senegal.
The first vessel of the OPV 58S class was launched in September last year, eleven months after the steel cutting ceremony was held in Concarneau Flag of France.
Construction of the vessel will take place over 44 months, and conclude in mid-2024. Work on the hulls is split between Concarneau and Lanester, near Lorient, where the Kership shipyard is located. The first vessel is expected to be delivered in 2022, with the other two units scheduled for delivery in 2023 and the 3rd vessel scheduled for 2024.
The contract for three OPV 58 S was signed in November 2019 by the Ministry of Armed Forces of Senegal and the PIRIOU group.
As part of the deal, Piriou subsidiary Piriou Ngom will support the vessels for a number of years. Piriou subsidiary Pirou Ngom Senegal was created in October 2017 through a partnership with Ngom & Freres.
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.
In addition to these three OPVs, Senegal is also procuring Shaldag MK II Fast Patrol Craft and two OPVs from Israel. The naval vessels will help the Senegalese Navy in securing the sea lanes and maritime approaches in Senegal’s littoral and exclusive economic zones.