CNIM will deliver fourteen new landing craft (LCU type, designated EDA-S for “engins de débarquement amphibie standards” in French) to replace the the ageing “CTM” (previous generation of LCUs) in the French Navy (Marine Nationale).
Acting as prime contractor, CNIM teamed up with Mauric for the study phase, Socarenam for construction (to be carried out at its Saint-Malo site in Brittany), and CNN-MCO for a first phase of maintenance of five years, the company said in a statement Monday.
In the long term, the three Mistral class LHDs of the French Navy are expected to integrate a total of eight EDA-S from Toulon. The remaining six landing craft are set to be based overseas (Djibouti, Mayotte, Nouméa, Fort-de-France and Dégrade-des-Cannes in French Guyana). The EDA-S will allow restoring an amphibious transport capability to the Overseas Bases of the French Navy. This capability was lost with the withdrawal of the last BATRAL-class LST in 2017, and not really restored by the d’Entrecasteaux -class B2M vessels which succeeded to the LST.
The EDA-S landing craft are to be built over a ten-year period. CNIM was competing against French shipyards Kership and CMN.
Unveiled at Euronaval 2018 (under its CNIM export name “LCA Landing Craft Assault”) the EDA-S will conduct amphibious operations from the well decks aboard Mistral-class amphibious assault ships, carrying troops, military equipment or vehicles. They will be able to take part in logistics operations, depending on their location. They are also designed to evacuate citizens and recover air-dropped equipment during humanitarian missions.