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DCNS partners with KND to build patrol vessels in South Africa

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gowindmicroFrench defense contractor and naval shipbuilder DCNS has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with South African shipbuilder KND for the promotion, construction and sale of offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) in South Africa.

DCNS and KND have signed a partnership agreement to promote, build and sell the DCNS designed Gowind OPV.

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. Facilities at its shipyard include a Syncroift that can handle vessels of up to 90 m.


Construction of the first-of-class Gowind OPV, L’Adroit, began in France in May 2010. The vessel has already undergone sea trials and is scheduled for handover to the French Navy before the end of 2011 for operational trials, establishing its “sea proven” status and significantly boosting the credentials of the Gowind range among navies throughout the world.

OPV L’Adroit has a length of 87 m and has a number of features which make it well suited for counter-piracy activities. It has an at-sea endurance of three weeks and a range of 8,000 nautical miles. With a top speed of 21 knots, the vessel has a helicopter flight deck and can accommodate UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) 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).

“We are very happy with the partnership agreement and are very positive that the DCNS OPV is the most suitable solution for Naval applications within Africa,” said James Fisher, CEO of KND.

“This MoU reflects DCNS’s commitment to long-term partnership with KND in order to meet the requirements of the South African Navy as closely as possible,” said Pierre Legros, SVP Surface Ships & Naval Systems, DCNS.

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