French shipbuilder PIRIOU has successfully delivered the second unit of the OPV 58 S class vessel, named “NIANI,” to the Senegalese Navy. The handover ceremony, attended by high-ranking officials, including the Minister of the Armed Forces of Senegal, marks a crucial milestone in the nation’s fleet recapitalization efforts.
NIANI; the second ocean-going missile-armed patrol vessel for the Senegalese Navy, was launched in Concarneau on September 13, 2022, by French Piriou Shipyard, and was subsequently floated out on 2 February by Kership, a joint venture between Piriou and Naval Group for armament fitout.
The handover ceremony was an opportunity for Vincent Faujour to warmly thank the new Minister of the Armed Forces, Mr Oumar Youm, for having done him the honour of choosing Concarneau for his first official visit to France. “You have played a major role in this partnership, which bears witness to the long-standing military cooperation between our two nations,” he said, pointing out that he and Admiral Wade had been involved in the project from the outset. He also welcomed the presence of Fodé Sylla, Senegal’s ambassador-at-large, former Member of the European Parliament, and former President of SOS Racisme, as well as the presence of Admiral Cyril Palfray Aubin de Jaurias, Commander of the Brest-Lorient defence base, and Lysiane Métayer, Member of the National Defence and Armed Forces Committee of The French National Assembly.
Expressing his gratitude for their confidence, the President of the PIRIOU Group said that “the Senegal program has strengthened PIRIOU’s position as a major player in the construction of armed vessels, opening up new perspectives both for the Group and for Kership, the industrial prime contractor for the program. “We are fully aware of the imperative need to guarantee the highest level of quality and availability of your ships. We are working on this, here in Concarneau, but also in Dakar.”
The delivery of “NIANI” follows a contract signed in November 2019, covering the acquisition of three offshore patrol vessels (OPV) as part of Senegal’s fleet modernization plan. The first vessel, named “WALO,” was delivered in June, and the third, named “CAYOR,” is currently undergoing fitting out in Concarneau. The Senegalese Navy’s fleet recapitalization initiative aims to enhance maritime surveillance capabilities and strengthen security in the region.
Mr Omar Youm stated that “the acquisition of three offshore patrol vessels is an excellent demonstration of the significant investments made by the State of Senegal, at the initiative of His Excellency Mr Macky SALL, President of the Republic and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. The WALO has made a definite added value in the field of maritime surveillance in depth and the acquisition of information of maritime interest. It has participated steadily in maritime border surveillance operations, the protection of offshore oil and gas installations, fisheries surveillance and, above all, the fight against illegal emigration.
Advanced Features of the OPV 58 S Class:
The OPV 58 S class vessels represent a leap forward in naval technology, and demonstrates a remarkable versatility, capable of undertaking various missions, including anti-surface warfare and anti-aircraft deterrence. With a crew of 48 and a maximum speed of 12 knots, the vessel can stay at sea for 25 days or cover 4,500 nautical miles. Its weapons suite includes a 76mm main gun, surface-to-air missiles, manned machine guns, remote weapon stations, and anti-ship missiles, positioning it as a robust and adaptable maritime asset.
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 Senegal program has not only strengthened PIRIOU’s position as a major player in the construction of armed vessels but also opened new perspectives for the Group and its industrial prime contractor, Kership. The successful integration of advanced composite blades reflects the commitment to providing innovative solutions in the aerospace industry.
The Senegalese Minister of the Armed Forces emphasized the program’s positive impact on maritime surveillance, border protection, and the fight against illegal activities. As the third vessel, CAYOR, is being fitted out, the Senegalese Navy’s capabilities are set to receive a substantial boost, contributing to the region’s maritime security.