The French defence procurement agency has placed an order for two 60m patrol vessels to protect French interests in the Antilles-Guiana region. The so-called Patrouilleur Léger Guyanais (PLG) vessels are to be built and fitted out by Socarenam at their shipyards in Saint-Malo and Boulogne-sur-Mer respectively, with deliveries scheduled for late 2016 and mid-2017. They will replace the 1987-built pair of Type 400 patrol craft La Capricieuse and La Gracieuse, mainly providing security for the European Space Agency’s primary launch site at the Guiana Space Centre in French Guiana.

The PLGs, which are similar to those recently delivered to the Belgian Navy, will be equipped with the latest surveillance electronics, a gyro-stabilised, remotely-operated 20mm Narwhal gun and two RHIBs, one of which is launched via stern dock. Displacing around 700 tonnes and with a shallow draught of just 3.5m, necessary for their operating areas, each will have a crew of 24, with accommodation for 14 extra personnel.

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