Shipbuilder DCNS hopes the French Navy will extend its three-year lease of the Adroit offshore patrol vessel. (DCNS)
PARIS — DCNS is in talks with French authorities to stretch out a three-year lease to the Navy of the Adroit, an offshore patrol vessel the company built with its own funds and aimed at the export market, a spokesman at the naval shipbuilder said June 20.
“The discussions for an extension are going on,” the spokesman said. DCNS seeks to extend the Adroit’s service with the Navy beyond Oct. 21, when the lease expires.
A possible longer lease is seen as an alternative to the government’s handing back the ship to DCNS.
Member of Parliament M. François Cornut-Gentille had asked a parliamentary question about the Navy’s April 3 decision to withdraw the B crew, one of the two crews which sail the Adroit.
The Defense Ministry said, “To date, in view of the core tests and trials planned for Adroit having been realized, and the return of the ship to the DCNS group due to fall on Oct. 21, the Navy has begun the gradual reduction of the personnel assigned to the ship.
“In the context of a need for personnel it was recently decided to stand down one of the two crews.”
The state-owned company sees a big sales advantage in the vessel’s flying the French tricolor flag and being at sea in the Navy’s hands.
DCNS has won an order worth €1 billion (US $1.4 billion) from Egypt for four Adroit ships, and is waiting for the contract to enter into effect, a naval expert said.
Malaysia has selected the Adroit and a local shipbuilder, Boustead Naval Shipyard, to build six of the vessels, website latribune.com has reported. ■