GOWIND class Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) designed and built by DCNS as a company funded program is leading the company’s vision of future maritime safety & security (MSS) and counter-piracy vessels.
The lead ship of this class, L’Adroit has a length of 87 metres, an at-sea endurance of 3 weeks and a range of 8,000 nautical miles. With a top speed of 21 knots, the vessel has a helicopter flight deck accommodating a vertical take-off and landing (Schiebel S-100) supporting unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) operations. It is designed for reduced crewing, with a complement of 30 and space for 30 passengers.
The ship features a number of major innovations for navies, commandos and coastguards: 360° panoramic visibility from the bridge, a single integrated mast for 360° radar coverage, covert deployment of fast commando boats in less than 5 minutes and provision for UAVs and USVs (unmanned surface vehicles). The vessel is also equipped with teleconferencing facilities and long-range acoustic devices.
In addition to its autonomous operation at sea, GOWIND class ships are also designed with network enabled information technology extending area surveillance and control through shore-based control centers and other networked ships, sharing workload and mission data to automatically detect suspicious behavior by ships and other craft.
L’Adroit was handed over to the French Navy on October 21, 2011 for a period of three years. The vessel will be under the command of Captain Loïc Guyot, while remaining the property of DCNS. With two French Navy crews rotating every four months, L’Adroit is expected to offer a high level of at-sea availability, spending 220 days a year on operational missions performing maritime security missions including fisheries surveillance, counter-piracy, drug interdiction, environmental protection, humanitarian aid, and search & rescue.
In September 2011 DCNS and KND have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the promotion, construction and sale of offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) in South Africa. The purpose of the agreement is to win new OPV contracts, first in South Africa and subsequently in other sub-Saharan African nations. KND operates industrial facilities at the Simon’s Town naval dockyard, near Cape Town. The company has full proficiency with the production methods associated with this type of vessel and is currently building six fast patrol boats for a West African nation.