Jul 10, 2013 ASDNews Source : Zodiac Milpro International
Zodiac MILPRO has won a blanket order to supply over 700 rigid and semi-rigid inflatable boats to all branches of the French armed forces in a deal worth up to €7.8 million (US$ 10.25 million). The orders follow the acceptance of 10 out of 14 individual tenders submitted to the Central Directorate of Equipment and relate to the supply of boats ranging in size from four to 7.5 metres.
The orders are for a variety of boats from the Zodiac MILPRO range that have each been chosen to meet a specific operational need in the French armed forces. These include some of Zodiac MILPRO’s newest models that will be assigned to tasks that include patrolling the Ile de Longue nuclear submarine base, for use by the French coastguard on operational patrols and vessel interception, training missions for French commandos, workboats for airborne delivery by the Air Force and others for supporting navy divers during mine clearance operations. A large number of inflatable boats will also be supplied to the Army for amphibious operations and will be added to the service’s existing stock of more than 500 craft.
The contracts will include the purchase of two of Zodiac MILPRO’s newest and most innovative boats for use at the French commando training centre. The SRA 750 was launched in June and is unlike any other Zodiac MILPRO boat. It features an exceptionally strong aluminium hull enclosed by inflatable D-Shape collars that combine buoyancy with extra interior space. This design gives the boat outstanding sea-keeping in extreme conditions along with a spacious interior capable of carrying substantial loads or large numbers of passengers or a stretcher. This versatility is further enhanced by the innovation of deck tracks that enable the mounting of armament or the seating configuration to be changed quickly according to its mission. This versatility is also expected to make the new boat attractive to civilian users who will also benefit from its military-grade quality.
The development of the SRA-750 is being seen as a direct benefit of the company’s take-over by Oaktree Capital Management in February this year. Commenting on this and the military contracts Marc Lavorata, managing director of Zodiac MILPRO said; “The creativity of our engineers and designers has been encouraged by the confidence that we have gained from our new owners. This is clearly being recognised by our customers who are showing their willingness to place significant orders for our products. There are more new products to follow soon and these will benefit Zodiac MILPRO as well as our customers who can look forward to an even wider range of boats and equipment to choose from.”