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French Sea Ministry Takes Delivery of Fourth Rigid Inflatable Boat

Zodiac International : 07 June, 2010  (Application Story)
Zodiac SRR 650 high performance RIB supplied to the French Affaires Maritimes department for marine based police operations
French Sea Ministry Takes Delivery of Fourth Rigid Inflatable Boat
Zodiac MILPRO has made its fourth delivery in an on-going contract to supply the French governmentís Affaires Maritimes department with high performance RIBs (rigid inflatable boats.) The fourth Zodiac SRR 650 was delivered to the Affaires Maritimes in Bayonne, southern France, from where it will be used for a wide range of policing and law enforcement activities at sea.

Affaires Maritimes is a section of the French Ministry of the Sea responsible for a range of duties including fishery patrols and the policing of commercial and leisure craft. It has centres in every coastal Department of France and all are equipped with RIBs. The on-going contract with Zodiac has ensured that a new boat will be available whenever one of them needs replacement. The arrangement has proved beneficial to both parties by providing Zodiac with the ability to plan its production while the Department has control over its budget and it benefits from the delivery of the latest advanced specification Zodiac of its class.

The contract was signed in 2007 and has resulted in the manufacture and supply of a 6.5 metre RIB for the Affaires Maritimes in Cherbourg, Bordeaux, Caen and, most recently, Bayonne which was delivered in March. The RIBs were from the Zodiac Responders Range which is specifically designed to meet the specialised needs of law enforcement and security operations. These include speed, seaworthiness and suitability for boarding operations. They are also designed to be exceptionally durable and easy to maintain. Each Affaires Maritimes district has enjoyed the freedom to choose from single or twin outboard engine configurations and between different deck layouts and details according to their needs.

The Affaires Maritimes had become an established user of Zodiac SRMN 600 RIBs partly because it was one of the only manufacturers able to supply hulls that comply with the French professional marine regulations. The company was also able to offer RIBs with higher specifications while retaining a competitive price. The 2007 contract enabled Affaires Maritimes to upgrade to the larger SRR 650 RIBs which provided significant improvements in functionality and crew comfort. The benefits included a self-draining deck, integrated fuel and electrical systems that eliminate trip hazards on deck, a large integrated bow box and technical area in the transom well and removable tubes for easy maintenance.

As with all Zodiac RIBs, the design of the SRR 650 also provides improved safety standards by separating the fuel and electrical systems and by ventilating any enclosed spaces to eliminate the risk of explosion. This safety feature is considered particularly important by the Affaires Maritimes and is one of its reasons for choosing Zodiac boats. Each RIB is nevertheless inspected on delivery by the Affaires Maritimes safety and security centre which has the task of approving any boat before being delivered to a French government department.

The RIBs were supplied by Zodiac Military and Professional (MILPRO) based in Paris. This is part of the Zodiac Marine & Pool Group which operates in three sectors that provide a comprehensive service to their specialised markets. The Zodiac Military and Professional (MILPRO) sector supplies inflatable and semi-rigid craft for professional users such as police, coast guard, special forces, anti-terrorism units, fire teams, the offshore industry and other military users. The boats manufactured by Zodiac MILPRO range from 4. 7m to 12m long and are available in configurations that include inflatable and rigid inflatable boats with aluminium or fibreglass hull designs, inflatable or foam tubes, diesel inboard or petrol outboard engines. The Zodiac SOLAS sector supplies life rafts for merchant ships, ferries, and cruise ships and complete rescue systems combining escape slides and rafts. The Zodiac Recreational sector manufactures inflatable and semi-rigid craft that are distributed under the Zodiac, Bombard and Avon brands.
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