Ordered on December 2019 for deliveries planned between 2023 and 2025, the six future POM patrol ships of the French Navy will be named in memory of six overseas heroes of Free France (France libre), all companions of the Liberation. Names were chosen based on the future location of each unit.
Two patrol boats will each be based in New Caledonia (Nouméa), French Polynesia (Papeete) and La Réunion (Port-des-Galets). The first of them, scheduled for delivery in 2023 and based in New Caledonia, will be christened August Bénébig, a native of Noumea and will be followed by the Jean Tranape. Those destined for French Polynesia will be baptized Teriieroo a teriierooiterai and Philippe Bernardino, those in La Réunion Auguste Techer and Félix Éboué.
Traditionally assigned to the lead ship, the name of the class will exceptionally be that of the last one, which will both honor Félix Éboué in particular, meet the priority capability need and give the first POM based in La Réunion the name of a native of the island (Auguste Techer).
The choice of the six overseas personalities who will give their name to the future OPVs is a decision of Florence Parly, the MoD said on May 20.
The POM contract was awarded on December 24 2019 to a Socarenam / CNN MCO consortium by the procurement agency DGA. These OPVs will replace the ageing P400-class patrol boats, which are being gradually decommissioned since 2009. The last of them, La Glorieuse, is due to be withdrawn from active service in 2022.
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.