The French Ministry of Armed Forces on January 17 2020 confirmed an order for six “POM” offshore patrol vessels. The contract was awarded on December 24 2019 to a Socarenam / CNN MCO consortium by the procurement agency DGA. Intended for the French Navy, these OPVs will be based in French overseas territories to replace the ageing P400-class patrol boats.:
- Two POM vessels will be based in New Caledonia (Nouméa)
- Two in la Réunion (Port-des-Galets)
- And two in French Polynesia (Papeete).
“The POMs have a strategic function: They are essential to protect our exclusive economic zone, to fight against trafficking and to participate in rescue operations. The first one will be delivered to New Caledonia in 2022. Our future POM OPV is also a real innovation. Featuring an aluminum hull, it will be the first small-scale vessel to integrate an on-board UAV system and a hydrographic capacity for mapping the seabed.”
Florence Parly, Minister of the Armed Forces.
The SOCARENAM shipyard in Saint Malo is also producing the EDAS, the future landing craft of the French Navy. We visited the shipyard in June when the first two EDAS were taking shape.
About POM offshore patrol vessels
The future POM patrol ships will carry out protection missions in France’s exclusive economic zones (EEZ), intervene against maritime pollution and in favor of environmental protection, as well as rescue and assistance to people.
The POM will have an endurance of 30 days without refueling. Each ship will accommodate a crew of 30 sailors and 23 passengers and operate an unmanned aerial vehicle. Their armament will include a 20mm caliber remote-controlled turret (Narwhal by Nexter), as well as 12.7 mm and 7.62mm machine guns. The POM vessel will be 80 meters long and 11.8 meters wide, with a draft of 3.5 meters.
Nexeya will supply the combat management system for these vessels.