France receives first multi-mission ship d’Entrecasteaux

The French Navy on March 25 received its first new multi-mission ship built by Kership, a joint venture between DCNS and Piriou.

d’Entrecasteaux, as it was named by the French Navy, is the first of three B2M ships which were expected to be delivered in 2015 and 2016.

France will operate the 65-metre ships in its overseas territories. The first B2M will be homeported in Nouméa, New Caledonia while the second and third vessel will be stationed in French Polynesia and Réunion respectively.

The contract for the vessels between the Navy and Kership, signed in December 2013, also has an option for a fourth B2M vessel.

Piriouis is responsible for the design and the construction of the ships. DCNS is co-contractor with Piriou for for the military aspects of the design studies and the supply of onboard communications systems (SITIP), and will be responsible for in-service support (ISS) of each ship for up to 6 years.

According to Piriou, the vessels carry a work boat about 8 metres long and semi-rigid boats, and have a crane for the loading and unloading of containers. Each ship will be operated by two crews consisting of 23 sailors each.