Named “PLG”, that is acronym for Guyana light patrol crafts in French, they are in fact heavy open sea patrol crafts displacing about 700 tons. These ships are the summit of MAURIC experience for this type of patrol crafts, and the last child of a growing family. In fact, MAURIC designed before :
The PLG 61m long, is a significantly more important ship that opens the way towards longer patrol crafts. It is a moderately beamy boat, with low superstructure, dominated by a 360° bridge allowing view on the bow and the aft deck. However, it includes extensive accommodation with a high degree of comfort (CONF NOISE / VIB) for a crew of 24 persons, living permanently onboard.
The operational capabilities are as well impressive with two 7.5m RHIB, one on the aft ramp, and the other below a davit, the 20mm NARWHAL remotely operated gun from NEXTER, different armored machine gun mounts, and finally a water cannon. All the systems are managed from the bridge with a high degree of integration and automation.
Another innovation is the hybrid electric propulsion. A parallel propulsion system allows low speed patrol on electric motors up to 7.5 kts, and then the ABC diesel engines are driving the boat to a top speed in excess of the 21 kts contract speed. These low speed diesel engines have been selected for their high endurance, low maintenance and affordable price.
The first PLG La Confiance, delivered end of 2016, is already operational in French Guyana, where it demonstrated operational capabilities in excess of the expectations, with an outstanding sea-keeping, for a ship of that size, an excellent availability, and a real efficiency. The second ship La Résolue is in the course of its operational testing and validation, before crossing the Atlantic sea in the fore coming weeks.
These highly performing ships with a good degree of electric and electronic complexity, designed in the DGA very strict framework of norms, are an awesome success for MAURIC and SOCARENAM teams. This shows that small, capable and efficient teams can successfully manage large ships projects!