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French Navy to acquire 14 new LCU-type ships from CNIM

CNIM Group, a French industrial contractor, has been chosen by the French Navy (taking the lead on its rivals Kership and CMN) to deliver 14 new landing craft (LCU type), the EDA-S, to replace its aging CTM (previous verison of the LCU).

high payl 1548131422 The high payload capacity of the EDA-S (Picture source : CNIM)

The Landing Craft Utility (EDA-S in French, for "Engins de Débarquement Amphibie - Standards") are ships designed to conduct amphibious operations from the well decks aboard Mistral-class amphibious assault ships. They are able to carry troops, military equipment or even vehicles (up to 80 tons of maximum payload).

Among other improvements, this new LCU will be designed to have a back door, procuring the ship a roll-on roll-off capacity. Therefore, the EDA-S will avoid its crew members or vehicles to suffer time-consuming manoeuvres which could expose them to various threats.

Among these LCU ships, 8 are destined to be used by the amphibious fleet based in Toulon (FLOPHIB) and 6 are aimed to be incorporated in the fleets of the French overseas departments and territories. The first batch of EDA-S (2 ships) is expected to be delivered by the end of 2020.

The EDA-S ships are also compatible with NATO standards are therefore suited for export (CNIM export name : LCA for Landing Craft Assault). They could be embarked on US medium amphibious ships or even Korean LPDs.