Replacement of French Avisos, a capacity disruption in the making

The Avisos A69 of the Estienne D'Orves class constituted the backbone of the French Navy for almost 3 decades. Available in number (17 units), with significant anti-ship firepower (for the time) with MM38 missiles, a 100 mm cannon and equipped with hull sonar, these naval units will have been all missions, from the coast of Lebanon to Libya, including the protection of the entries and exits of French SSBNs.

These ships, most of which will soon celebrate their 40th birthday, will still be in service for 10 years, their replacement having been postponed several times, before being included in the global BATSIMAR program, merging offshore patrol vessels like the P400, and warships like the A69.

Little by little, it is the very replacement of the notices which will have been recorded over the course of the military programming laws. Today, the last A69 units, qualified as offshore patrol vessels, will have to be replaced by the future Haute-Mer patrol vessels, or PHM, which will in fact replace the P400s and not the A69s.

However, the manufacturer Naval Group has, in its catalog, the Gowind2500 corvette which can constitute an excellent basis for the reconstruction of a fleet of corvettes/avisos for the French Navy. Can be powerfully armed (16 short capsules for MICA VL missiles, 8 MM40 Block-3, 57 mm cannon, Mu-90 torpedoes), equipped with modern and versatile detection and communication devices (including the Captas 2 towed sonar which will equip the FTI), and a hangar and helicopter platform that can accommodate a 5 ton class aircraft like the future H160M, the Gowind2500 has also met with very significant commercial success, 12 units having already been ordered by Egypt (4 units), Malaysia (6 units) and the UAE (2 units).

With a crew of less than 100 men, avia detachment included, the Gowind2500 would constitute an excellent way to strengthen the intermediate segment of the French Navy, while strengthening its ASM capabilities, for a spectacularly low cost, even lower than a order from the French Navy would make it possible to lower costs, and therefore potentially attract other export customers.

Thus, an order for 12 Gowind 2500s by the French Navy and 6 units offered for export at the particularly attractive price of €150 million per unit, would have no fiscal impact on public finances. Cheaper than 0, hard to do, right?

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