Jan. 20 (UPI) -- The French military procurement agency, DGA, has contracted Kership for construction of a fourth Multi-Mission Vessel, or B2M.
The ship, the Dumont d'Urville, will be delivered in the second half of 2018 and is destined for use in the Caribbean, the Directorate General of Armaments said.
B2M -- or Batiment Multi-Missions -- vessels, displace about 2,535 tons and have a speed of 13 knots. They are replacing the French Navy's Batral light transport ships and have a logistical support capability.
The vessels carry out sovereignty missions overseas: presence, surveillance and protection of French interests in exclusive economic zones, logistic support and assistance missions.
France ordered three such vessels in 2013.
The first B2M, the D'Entrecasteaux, was handed to the French Navy last year and operates from Noumea in New Caledonia. The second multi-mission vessel, was handed over on 16 September 2016, and arrived at its home port at Papeete, in French Polynesia, in December. The third B2M, the Champlain, will become operational later this year.
Kership is a a joint subsidiary of Piriou and DCNS.
The value of the shipbuilding contract was not disclosed.