On May 10, four days before Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s visit to Paris, after long months of waiting, the first coastguard patrol boats ordered by Kiev from the French shipbuilding company OCEA were dispatched from Saint-Nazaire . This was reported on May 16 by the specialist publication Mer et Marine, giving some interesting details about what is happening.
The publication notes that a pair of 32-meter patrol boats with aluminum hulls (tail numbers BG 202 and BG 203), built for the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine (the GPSU is part of the Ministry Interior) at the Les Sables-d’Olonne shipyard (OCEA FPB 98 Mk I project) were loaded onto the cargo ship Gaya and transported to the customer. This was done despite ongoing hostilities in the Black Sea and Turkish authorities blockading the Bosphorus and Dardanelles for military cargo and vessels.
On May 16, the ship Gaya arrived in Malta, and on May 19 it is expected to enter the Greek port of Alexandroupolis. However, the ship’s subsequent route is unknown. Therefore, it is unclear whether it will attempt to cross into the Black Sea or whether the boats will be unloaded in Greece with subsequent delivery by another mode of transport to the Odessa region via Bulgaria and Romania.
Until recently, there were at least six boats in Les Sables-d’Olonne. In addition to those mentioned above, boats with tail numbers BG 201, BG 204, BG 205 and BG 207 have also been registered. At the same time, the BG 201 is most likely used to train Ukrainian crews, that is, no boat has left France. Before.
According to the contract, OSEA must produce 20 such boats for the national border guard service by 2024. They can reach speeds of up to 35 knots (65 km/h). The total displacement is about 118 tons. Width – 8.3 m, crew – 10 people, and there are 6 additional seats for passengers.
Photos used: State Border Service of Ukraine and OCEA
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