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L’Adroit / Gowind OPV

The market for offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) is highly competitive. To win customers, introduce technological innovations and make a profit is a major challenge that DCNS has taken on in partnership with local co-contractors with international ambitions. The design and shipbuilding standards adopted for OPV Gowind L’Adroit are compatible with the capabilities of shipyards all over the world.

The family currently comprises four versions.

  1. Gowind® Control is ideal for patrol and sovereignty missions in EEZs and littoral waters, including the fast deployment of special forces and commandos.
  2. Gowind® Presence has the range, endurance and intervention capabilities, including a helicopter hangar for blue-water control missions.
  3. Gowind® Action combines anti-air and anti-surface sensors and effectors, an efficient robust high-endurance mission management system (MMS) and interoperability.
  4. Gowind® Combat has a full-scale MMS for full-scale multi-threat missions, including a full ASW suite with towed array sonar and improved stealth and survivability.

The Gowind OPV L’Adroit was the first offshore patrol vessel ever built by DCNS. The Gowind OPV provides a high level response to the new challenges met by navies around the world. The L’Adroit program spearheads DCNS’s ambitious efforts to win a larger share of the growing markets for small- and medium-displacement surface ships. Gowind OPV L’Adroit was designed and built by DCNS for maritime safety & security (MSS) missions. The L’Adroit program introduces innovations across the board by calling into question long-established methods in engineering, production and promotion.

First, the product itself is highly innovative. This powerhouse of technology is designed for MSS missions ranging from counter piracy and terrorism to the policing and interdiction of all forms of trafficking. OPV L’Adroit, the first member of the Gowind family, combines advanced technologies including unmanned aerial and surface vehicles (UAVs and USVs), commando boat launch ramps and a single enclosed mast which, with a panoramic bridge, ensures 360° visibility for crew and sensors alike.

The second area of innovation is in production methods. From the outset, the L’Adroit programme was built around tightly integrated design, production and work organisation teams – all dedicated to this programme – with unprecedented autonomy and accountability. These innovations enabled DCNS and its partners to design and build the ship in less than 24 months. In addition to drawing on the vast expertise of its employees, the Group called on some 50 partners, each among the best in its field. Companies that joined DCNS as either co-suppliers or investors contributed experience and continue to contribute flexibility and responsiveness to the programme’s continuing success.

The third area of innovation is in marketing and sales. DCNS built OPV L’Adroit under a self-funded program. When ready, the ship was made available to the French Navy for operational trials lasting three years. In achieving ‘sea proven’ qualification, the L’Adroit will win unprecedented credibility among prospective client navies for the entire family of Gowind OPV/corvettes.

OPV L’Adroit is the entry-level representative of the Gowind family. Other Gowind OPV/corvettes 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 corvette serving as a deterrent or means of preventing military action. To this end, these ships can be equipped with weapons for use against both land and sea targets.

Thanks to the panoramic bridge and an integrated mast, L’Adroit crew collect reliable data over 360 degrees. The short superstructures of the ship leave a lot of space for aviation facilities and an ingenious rear ramps system used for the deployment or rapid recovery of a helicopter, drones and Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIB).

Sophisticated algorithms resulting from DCNS vast experience in Management Systems provide the ship and its crew with accurate information. The POLARIS® system gathers and processes data coming from the ship’s sensors, from remote sensors (including those of the UAV/USV) and also from other OPVs connected through the extended surveillance network. As an option, the mission system may include MATRICS®, a ship borne Maritime Surveillance System (MSS) designed by DCNS and featuring, for instance, the unique capability to automatically detect any suspicious behaviour on the part of other ships.

With a length of 87 meters, OPV L’Adroit offers three weeks’ blue-water endurance, a range of 8,000 nautical miles, a top speed of 21 knots and a helicopter/UAV flight deck. The design also features full provision for reduced crewing by a complement of 30 and space for 30 passengers.

The Gowind OPV L’Adroit’s hangar is designed to host and maintain a « light » helicopter (5 T) as well as several light drones or alternatively a heavy unmanned vehicule (1 T). The ship’s flight deck can accommodate a NH90 type helicopter weighting 12 T. In-depth ingeneering studies were carried out – in particular regarding the handling and the storage of vehicules as well as how to move around them. All key parametres (ventilation for example) were looked into very carefully in order to ensure the highest degree of ergonomy and safety.

Because some unmanned vehicles use petrol (as opposed to kerosene like helicopters or diesel like the ship’s engines), there is a dedicated 500l fuel tank located outside the hangar. At the entrance of the hangar, a big trapdoor on the floor is positionned and designed to facilitate the pulling out of all equipment from the machine unit and the auxiliary unit, if heavy maintenance is required. The system helps minimizing maintenance costs and time and enhances the ship’s operational availability.

In 2009 DCNS released an OPV proposal based on the Gowind Control to the Marine Nationale, intended to replace P400 patrol ships or A69 avisos. Shipbuilding began in May 2010. Outfitting continued with the last equipment compartments approaching completion as systems are powered up and tested. On 21 October 2011, less than two years after construction began, the Gowind offshore patrol vessel L’Adroit, an innovative maritime safety & security platform, was made available to the French Navy.





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