PARIS (France), March 15, 2018, Author: Galina Zdravkova (Bm), Photo by DefenseNews
Soon the French Navy will operate five hybrid-electric propulsion multi-mission harbour vessels, dubbed CMM, manufactured by iXblue’s H2X Division. They will be maintained by Cegelec Defense et Naval Sud-Est for 10 years, reported DefenseNews.
The Contract for the hybrid diesel- and battery-powered crafts was signed on 6th March 2018 after the first prototype vessel was well tested. The tests were started in November 2017. The first delivery under that Contract, which also includes options for 2 other crafts, is expected in the middle of next year and the last one shall be completed in the middle of 2020.
The hybrid vessels will be used for supporting divers in their work under the water, transportation of sailors, materials, etc. Thanks to the option of running on rechargeable batteries, especially at low speed when diesel engines are less energy efficient and deliver the most pollution, the pollution by carbon dioxide will be significantly decreased.
The length of the ships will be 24 m, the width – 8 m, and their weigh – 53 tons.
This Project shows the desire for innovation of France, which is supported by the draft 2019-2025 military budget law, according to DGA (the Direction Générale de l’Armement, in English: Directorate General of Armaments).