nine helicopters or fixed-wing aircraft in addition to having a well
deck for various landing craft.
Piriou Picked for
French Support Vessels
Piriou has been selected to build up
to four new BASH (Batiments de
Soutien et d’Assistance Hauturiers)
support vessels for the French Navy.
The first two vessels are to begin
construction by the end of the year at
Piriou’s Concarneau shipyard, with
the first unit entering service by
2017. The first BASH units will replace the Malabar-class oceangoing
tugs (Malabar and Tenace) that were
commissioned in 1976. Two optional
units will increase the number available to the French Navy for transporting weapons and ammunition,
towing, deploying high-speed assault
craft and divers, as well as being able
to operate as a standard OPV.
The BASH units will be the same
basic design as the BMM (Batiment
Multi-Mission) multipurpose OPVs
that currently are being built for the
French Navy. They are 65 meters
(213 feet) in length with a beam of
14 meters ( 45. 9 feet) and a draft of
4. 2 meters ( 13. 8 feet), displacing
2,300 tons full load. They will be
powered by two diesel engines driv-
ing two controllable-pitch propellers
for a top speed of 15 knots.
The BASH will have a crew of 20
with an additional 20 berths for support personnel or divers. Each unit
also will be equipped with a 12-ton
crane for loading and unloading
small craft and containers, and have
a towing capacity of up to 30 tons.
Portugal OPV Program
To Move Forward
The Portuguese Navy has received
approval from the Portuguese
Council of Ministers for the procure-
ment of two additional Viana Do
Castelo-class (NPO 2000) OPVs.
The Ministry of National Defense
Procurement Directorate now is
negotiating a contract, worth around
$85 million, with West Sea Shipyard
in Viana Do Costelo for the OPVs.
Assuming contract negotiations
are completed by 2016, the first
unit could be completed by 2019
and the second in 2020. This will
bring the NPO 2000 program total
to four units.
The NPO program started out in
2002 as a 10-ship program consisting of eight OPVs and two combat
pollution vessels before the entire
program was scrapped in 2012 with
only two OPV variants being delivered. The latest 20-year Military
Program Law 2015-2026 enacted in
February called for funding of hulls
three and four, effectively reinstituting the program. ;
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