09 May 2010 -- DCNS, a leading player on the world market for capital warships, also aims to win new business in the corvette/OPV sector. In line with this policy, the Group has decided to self-fund the construction of a Gowind offshore patrol vessel. The new ship is designed for a wide range of government missions at sea. Shipbuilding will begin soon at DCNS's Lorient centre.
Patrick Boissier, Chairman & CEO of the DCNS Group, said: "The prime aim of the Championship growth initiative is to double Group revenue over the next ten years. One important way of achieving this is by expanding our product portfolio. The self-funded construction of this Gowind OPV will do just that. By giving us a marketing tool without equal, this vessel will also help us to achieve growth across the board while the shipbuilding effort will enable us to further improve our design and production methods thereby making us more competitive."
An unprecedented investment promoting Group-wide growth
One of the keys to winning new business in the corvette/OPV sector is to achieve ‘sea-proven' status attested by a world-class navy; a feat that is all the more challenging when the vessel in question combines innovations and unmatched efficiency. Hence the decision to make the proposed OPV available to the French Navy for three years.
The Navy will be able to demonstrate the new vessel's worth and operational capabilities in actual operations. Gowind OPVs offer users up-to-date assets for current and emerging missions from area surveillance to anti-piracy, counter-terrorism, fisheries policing, drug interdiction, environmental protection, humanitarian assistance, search & rescue at sea, and maritime safety & security (MSS).
With a length overall of 90 metres, the Gowind OPV will offer three weeks' blue-water endurance, a range of 8,000 nautical miles and a top speed of 21 knots. The design includes full provision for an organic helicopter and reduced crewing by a complement of 30 as well as space for an additional 30 passengers.
The proposed vessel is the entry-level representative of the Gowind family. Other Gowind corvette/OPVs can be equipped with a range of weapon systems according to their mission profiles. The top-of-the-range type is a medium-displacement front-line fighting ship serving as a deterrent or means of preventing military action. To this end, it carries both self-defence and attack weapons for use against land and sea targets as well as the means to project forces in a land-based conflict.
Key Gowind innovations include panoramic (360°) bridge visibility, the covert deployment of fast commando boats in less than 5 minutes and full provisions for UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) operations. All are designed to optimise ship-based naval, commando and coast guard operations. The Gowind family also benefits from DCNS's vast experience in IT and command information systems. These vessels can thus be readily tailored for extended area surveillance and, working in conjunction with shore-based control centres and other networked ships, the automatic detection of suspicious behaviour by ships and other craft.
A driver to improve Group-wide performance
Success in the highly competitive corvette/OPV market hinges on the Group's capacity to lift its game. To this end, the Group aims to improve overall performance by 30% over the next three years. As part of this effort, DCNS will use the Gowind OPV project to review its design and production methods from A to Z.
The ship will be built by a dedicated team of up to 80 people - all volunteers to apply new work methods - at the Group's Lorient centre. The first step will be to set up a multidisciplinary, multiskills team that will be given free rein across the board. The aim is to enable this new structure to build the ship in record time - less than 20 months between first cut and delivery to the customer in late 2011.