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France receives new landing craft

The DGA received the EDA-S landing craft Arbalète (pictured) and Arquebuse on 26 November. (Ministère des Armées)

The Direction Générale de l'Armement (DGA), the French armament procurement agency, announced on its website on 29 November that it has received the first two of 14 engins de débarquement amphibie standard (EDA-S) landing craft ordered in 2019 from CNIM for the French Navy and Army. The agency received Arbalète and Arquebuse on 26 November and expects to receive 12 more EDA-Ss by 2025.

The landing craft are replacing 12 chalands de transport de matériel (CTMs) built in the 1980s, as foreseen by France's Loi de Programmation Militaire 2019–2025 military funding programme. They will operate from the French Navy's three Mistral-class amphibious assault ships and in France's overseas territories.

The EDA-Ss are being built by CNIM subcontractor Socarenam in Saint-Malo.

The delivery of the first two landing craft followed a test campaign conducted during the summer by the DGA, supported by the French Navy. The campaign validated the EDA-S's ability to embark and disembark transport and armoured vehicles, including the Leclerc tank, to and from beaches, ports, and amphibious assault ships, day and night.

Eight EDA-Ss will replace CTMs of the French Navy's amphibious flotilla in Toulon, where the Marine Fusiliers Battalion Détroy naval infantry battalion is based, and the remaining six will replace logistics barges overseas: two in Djibouti, one in Mayotte, one in New Caledonia, one in Martinique, and one in French Guiana.

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