The French Defence Procurement Agency or DGA has awarded a contract for Thales to supply the French Navy’s seven new offshore patrol vessels with surveillance solutions. The company’s contract announcement did not specify its value but said the sensors for delivery include Thales’ Bluewatcher hull sonar, the new NS50 compact multi-mission surveillance radar and the TSA 3522 Identification Friend or Foe.
Thales will integrate the equipment into the ships, providing the vessels with active and passive surveillance capabilities either aerial, surface, or underwater. The company noted that the contract complies with the 2024-2030 French Military Planning Law.
According to a Naval News report, the law calls for the French Navy to have in service 10 new-generation OPVs by 2035. The report added that the DGA awarded on Nov. 17 the vessels’ supply contract worth $981 million to a temporary consortium composed of CMN, Piriou and Socarenam.
The contract’s first delivery is expected in 2026, with three vessels planned to be added to the seven initial orders after 2030, Thales said. It added that the new patrol boats, which will replace the French Navy’s Estienne d’Orves class of type A69 Avisos and OPV54-class vessels, are designed for multiple roles, including escort missions for warships.