The contract for three OPV 58 S was signed in November 2019 by the Ministry of Armed Forces of Senegal and the PIRIOU group, in the presence of the President of the Republic of Senegal and the French ministerial delegation.
The building programme of these three patrol vessels is carried out with the support and expertise of PIRIOU’s subsidiary KERSHIP and will spread over a period of 44 months up to summer 2024. It also provides for a support period of several years in Senegal.
‘This contract is the fruit of four years of joint work between the teams of PIRIOU and the Staff of the Navy of Senegal, which allowed us to design new generation patrol vessels perfectly answering the requirements of the Senegalese Navy. I thank the Senegalese government for their confidence, which obviously honours us, but above all obliges us. They can count on our total commitment. This project is also a real success for the ‘Pass Export’, an initiative of the French Ministry of Economy and Finance of which PIRIOU was the first signatory on February 23rd 2018. This system promotes and accelerates our ability to offer export financing and guarantees.’
Vincent Faujour, PIRIOU GROUP C.E.O.
About OPV 58 S
The “OPV 58 S” is a robust and versatile 62 meters patrol vessel dedicated to surveillance, identification and intervention missions. In addition to its projection capabilities (commando RHIB), it has a first-rate deterrent capability through its anti-surface warfare and anti-aircraft weapons systems.
Among the ship’s major innovations and capabilities are:
• a very versatile design to configure the ship depending on the missions
• a large 360 ° panoramic bridge
• a rapid launch and recovery system at the stern for 2 RHIBs
• a C-Sharp hull form providing optimized range and sea-keeping
• a high-performance monitoring and combat system (POLARIS by Naval Group)
The OPV 58 S will be equipped with MARTE MK2/N anti-ship missiles. With the ability to strike at ranges in excess of 30 kilometres and their fire-and-forget capability, these missiles will provide the means to the Senegalese Navy to enforce their maritime superiority. The vessels will also benefit from the SIMBAD-RC system and its MISTRAL missiles- this combination providing an extremely effective defence capability against all threats including anti-ship missiles, combat aircraft, UAVs, helicopters, as well as small surface threats such as those presented by FIACs. These missiles and missile systems are designed and produced by MBDA.
The weapons suite of the OPV 58 S appears to consist of:
- A 76mm main gun by Leonardo
- 4x anti-ship missiles placed forward (likely Marte by MBDA)
- 2x 12.7mm manned machine guns on the bridge wings
- 2x 20mm remote weapon stations (Narwhal by Nexter) at the back of the bridge
- A SIMBAD-RC surface to air system by MBDA
OPV 58 S main specifications
Length: 62.20 meters
Width: 9.50 meters
Draft: 2.90 meters
Speed: 21 knots
Range / Endurance: 25 days, 4,500 nautical miles @ 12 knots
Hull / Structure: Steel / Aluminum
Accommodations: 48 (24 crew + 24 mission personnel)
Stern ramp for two RHIBs
Rise of Senegal’s Naval Forces
Faced with an ever growing piracy threat in the Gulf of Guinea, Senegal (like other countries in the area such as Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana or Nigeria) is pursuing efforts to boost its naval capabilities. In addition to these three OPVs, Senegal is also procuring Shaldag MK II Fast Patrol Craft and two OPVs from Israel.
Other modern units include a large OPV procured from French shipyard OCEA, the Fouladou, commissioned in 2016 and two smaller patrol vessels (by Raidco Marine) procured in 2015 and 2013. Senegal is also procuring Maritime Patrol Aircraft. The OPV 58 S produced by Piriou will be fitted with missile systems which will be a new capability for this rising navy.
The modern naval vessels recently procured from France and Israel will help the Senegalese Navy in securing the sea lanes and maritime approaches in Senegal’s littoral and exclusive economic zones. They are the right assets to counter piracy and illegal fishing and conduct maritime security missions in the Gulf of Guinea.