The Gowind OPV L’Adroit visits Cape Town from 5 to 9 September 2012 during a long deployment off Africa, providing an opportunity for DCNS to promote the Gowind range and demonstrate the operational value of the vessels and their cutting-edge technologies. DCNS will also exhibit at Africa Aerospace & Defence (AAD) 2012 in South Africa from 19 to 23 September.

DCNS’s presence in South Africa is part of an ongoing partnership with local shipbuilder Nautic Africa (formerly KND) covering promotion, construction and sales of the Gowind® ocean patrol vessel (OPV). This type of arrangement is key to DCNS’s ability to compete in export markets, and an operational presence in South Africa helps the Group understand the needs of the South African Navy and meet its local shipbuilding requirements.

“The Gowind is the most technologically advanced of all the vessels proposed for the South African OPV programme,” said James Fisher, CEO of Nautic Africa. “We’re convinced that DCNS is the Navy’s ideal partner in this highly competitive marketplace and that the DCNS OPV is the best platform for naval missions in Africa.”

The L’Adroit put in to Cape Town from 5 to 9 September in order to meet local South African delegations. The visit includes demonstrations at sea to showcase the vessel’s impressive capabilities under real operational conditions. “During previous stopovers, navies around the world have been impressed by L’Adroit and recognised the operational benefits of the Gowind range,” said Marc Maynard, head of Gowind program department. “We’re looking forward to working with South Africa to meet its requirements for offshore patrol vessels.”

The flagship of DCNS’s ambition to win a larger share of the markets for small- and medium-displacement surface ships, the Gowind OPV L’Adroit is a major industrial and technological achievement. Designed and built in less than 24 months, it is packed with state-of-the-art technologies – commando boat launch ramps, a panoramic bridge and enclosed mast for 360° visibility, and the Polaris mission system — for emerging maritime safety and security missions, including fisheries surveillance, interdiction of trafficking, environmental protection, humanitarian support and search & rescue.

DCNS will also be at Africa Aerospace & Defence (AAD) 2012 in Tshwane, South Africa, from 19 to 23 September. AAD 2012 is a chance for DCNS to showcase its expertise in this key export market and to meet key players in the sector. The DCNS exhibit will feature the Gowind OPV L’Adroit, Gowind Combat, Mistral 140, Polaris mission system and F21 torpedo.

L’Adroit, a concentrate of innovation

With a length overall of 87 metres, OPV L’Adroit offers 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 UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), crewing by a complement of 30 and accommodation for 30 passengers.

Innovations and capabilities of special interest to ship-based naval, commando and coast guard forces include a panoramic bridge offering 360° visibility, a single enclosed mast offering 360° sensor visibility, covert deployment of fast commando boats in less than five minutes and full provision for unmanned aerial and surface vehicles (UAVs and USVs).

The Gowind range also benefits from DCNS’s vast experience in IT and command information systems. These vessels can be readily tailored for extended area surveillance and, when working in conjunction with shore-based control centres and other networked ships, for the automatic detection of suspicious behaviour by ships and other craft.

DCNS designs and builds submarines and surface combatants, develops associated systems and infrastructure, and offers a full range of services to naval bases and shipyards. The Group has also expanded its focus into civil nuclear engineering and marine renewable energy. The DCNS Group employs 13,000 people and generates annual revenues of €2.6 billion.