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while the vessel is underway in open
water; the forward wheelhouse is used for
beaching or docking operations as it gives
a superior view ahead of the vessel.
The L-Cat demonstrator craft is
powered by four MTU 12V2000 M92
diesel engines, each rated at 1220kW.
These drive four Wärtsilä WLD 640
waterjets (which are in fact being sized
to match the higher power rating of the
uprated 1630kW MTU 16V2000 M92).
Following completion of construction
and outfitting at the Gemelin yard, the
L-Cat arrived in Toulon in October
2008 after a 12-day transit from La
Rochelle under its own power. CNIM
has completed its own technical trials
ahead of forthcoming technical and
operational evaluations to be conducted
by the French Navy.
These naval suitability trials, to be The L-Cat could meet the French Navy’s requirement.
conducted inside Toulon harbour and in
open waters, will see the vessel operate from, watercraft offering significantly improved activity is not expected to get under way
and interface with, the stern dock of both performance compared to legacy landing until 2010-11.
‘Foudre’ and ‘Mistral’ class amphibious ships. craft, with key objectives including increased The EDA RFI called for a ro-ro vessel able
Tests will include door-to-door loadings with payload, higher speeds at full load, improved to make a forward speed of 12kts and a speed
representative vehicle payloads. manoeuvrability, better accessibility to low astern of 5kts fully laden (59tonnes payload);
The French Navy has a nascent gradient beaches, and greater flexibility able to turn in a radius of no more than 30m
requirement for eight to 10 new-generation through ro-ro operation. at 10kts; and able to stop (from a forward
amphibious landing craft or ‘engins de An initial request for information (RFI) speed of 10kts) within two ship lengths. As
debarquement amphibie’ (EDA) to operate was promulgated to industry by the regards autonomy, the requirement threshold
from its two Foudre and two Mistral class Délégation Générale pour l’Armement demands a range, fully laden, of at least
ships. Its outline requirement seeks a in March 2008, although a procurement 500nm at 12kts. WT
In transit, the L-Cat
is a catamaran
with pontoon deck
raised between
the two hulls; in
beaching mode
the pontoon is
lowered; and in
dock mode the
platform is totally
or partially flooded.
14 Warship Technology January 2009
WT_Jan09_p12+13+14.indd 14 12/23/08 2:21:48 AM
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