navOcéan, a subsidiary created by Défense Conseil International (DCI) and the Piriou Group in 2012, meets growing demand for DCI maritime training by providing a modern and multi-purpose ship called Almak. navOcéan is today diversifying its activity by setting up a team on board the polar patrol vessel L’Astrolabe. During the trials and the first crossing, this team is working closely with the French Navy crews that will man the ship. This is the company’s first ship management contract under which navOcéan is assisting the French Navy as it gets to grips with the new vessel’s specific facilities. The contract is a first for the entity and its second largest since its creation.

navOcéan’s first collaboration with the French Navy

L’Astrolabe is the latest vessel to be built by the Chantiers Piriou and will be manned by two French Navy crews. They will take turns performing surveillance missions in the Exclusive Economic Zones of the Indian Ocean and resupplying the Terre Adélie base by braving the icebergs of Antarctica.

Since February 2017, the teams from navOcéan and the French Navy have been attending and conducting the trials of the polar patroller, an innovative concept jointly financed by the French Southern and Antarctic Lands and the IPEV (French Polar Institute Paul-Emile Victor). The ship left Brest harbour on 12 August for Reunion Island, where it arrived on September, 7th.

New expertise in military vessel handover during trials

During its first three years of operation, navOcéan focused exclusively on DCI training for foreign young cadets on Almak. With this new contract, navOcéan is expanding its area of expertise.

The commissioning of the L’Astrolabe is an ambitious project that will allow navOcéan to diversify its expertise and know-how, particularly in vessel handover during trials prior to delivery. L’Astrolabe today embodies the unique, trusting relations that DCI has had with the French armed forces for 45 years. I wish the vessel and its crew great success!” said Jean-Michel Palagos, Chairman and CEO of DCI.