New French Navy Boats To Feature Hybrid Electric Drive With Battery Power

  • Our Bureau
  • 11:07 AM, January 4, 2016
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New French Navy Boats To Feature Hybrid Electric Drive With Battery Power
They will be the first French Navy vessels to feature hybrid electric drive using battery power. Image credits: DGA

France’s Directorate General of Armaments (DGA) has ordered six multi-mission barges – Chalands Multi-Missions (CMM), for the country’s naval bases.

The DGA notified 16 December 2015 to companies – H2X (La Ciotat) and Cegelec Defence and Naval Southeast (Toulon) for the contract. They will be the first French Navy vessels to feature hybrid electric drive using battery power.

The CMM’s electric propulsion system can be powered either by generators running on diesel (classic mode) or by rechargeable batteries docking or at sea (“zero emissions" mode), the DGA said in a statement Monday.

The CMM will carry out various missions that include underwater work, transportation equipment, pollution control, divers training.

CMM will operate in two distinct phases: a maximum speed transit phase in classic mode, and a low-speed operation phase in "zero emission" mode. The second mode will prevent the gaseous emissions (including greenhouse gases) at low speeds, where combustion engines are least efficient and most polluting. It will also significantly increase comfort sailors, reducing noise during long periods of work, and by removing the exhaust gases.

With a length of 24 m and a width of 8 m to 53 tons displacement, the CMM will have an aluminum composite hull and superstructure in order to limit their weight. They can reach speeds of 10 knots and carry up to 36 seamen and / or divers. Mauric designed by the research department in partnership with the company H2X and Alternative Energies (Alten) for energy-propulsion system, CMM will be built by the H2X shipyard in La Ciotat and maintained in operational condition by Cegelec Defence and Naval South -East.

The French navy is expecting to receive the first vessel in late 2017. Following trials for 3 months, the launch of the series will be confirmed, for deliveries in 2019 and 2020.

Two units will be assigned to as Toulon Brest, Cherbourg and a sixth to the Pole Saint-Mandrier Mediterranean schools (PEM). The contract includes an option for two additional units operate overseas, the Caribbean and New Caledonia.

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