The French-based OCEA shipbuilding company and the Nibulon company (Ukraine) have signed a contract for the construction of five cutters in Mykolaiv for Ukraine’s State Border Service and 15 cutters are already under construction in France.

This was reported by the Interfax Ukraine news agency, citing the Ukrainian Interior Affairs Ministry.

"A contract for construction of five vessels for the needs of the State Border Service of Ukraine was signed between the French shipbuilding company, OCEA, and the Ukrainian company, Nibulon, today, 30 November. Production will be concentrated in Mykolaiv," the ministry said in a statement on its website said on Tuesday.

According to the ministry, Ukrainian border guards will receive 20 such vessels in total, 15 of which will be built in France.

"The transfer of the first vessel will take place in Odesa. It is expected to be launched on 9 December. The vessel’s crew will undergo special retraining by French specialists in January 2022," the Interior Affairs Ministry said.

The implementation of this project was made possible by the signing of a framework intergovernmental agreement between Ukraine and France in 2019. In general, the agreement provides for the provision of loans totaling EUR 136.5 million by the French government and leading European banks for financing the construction of French vessels with localization of part of the production in Ukraine.

“After representatives of the French company conducted a study of Ukrainian enterprises, they found out that Ukraine produces some of the world's best inflatable rigid-hull boats, the Brig brand. In the future, 20 vessels for the State Border Service of Ukraine will be equipped with these boats. After operating on the Ukrainian market, OCEA has decided to include Ukrainian inflatable boats as standard equipment on its vessels. In addition to the order from the Interior Affairs Ministry, the French company is already discussing the signing of two major contracts for the production of vessels of a new configuration equipped with Ukrainian-made Brig boats," the statement said.

According to the ministry, the first cutter that the OCEA company built for the State Border Service will arrive in Ukraine in spring 2022.