Ukraine and France have signed an intergovernmental agreement on manufacture of a batch of coastguard patrol boats and technical support for them.

This was announced by Ukraine’s Minister of Interior Affairs Arsen Avakov, the CFTS portal reports, citing the Interfax Ukraine news agency.

“On behalf of the Ukrainian government, we have signed an agreement with French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner (EUR136.5 million) on manufacture of 20 patrol RIB craft, five of which we will build in Ukraine. Thanks to France for its support in strengthening the country’s maritime safety and security system,” Avakov twitted.

As the CFTS portal reported earlier, the agreement is for 32-meter OCEA patrol boats.

"Every fourth vessel will be made in Ukraine. Thus, we will protect the waters of our seas and by localizing production in Ukraine – tentatively, production will be localized at a plant in Mykolaiv – we will be able to revive production of boats with an aluminum hulls. We hope to produce boats at the Mykolaiv plant on a permanent basis after this agreement," the press center of Ukraine’s State Border Service quoted the minister as saying.

According to the press service of the Ukrainian Ministry of Interior Affairs, the additional equipment on the vessels will be made in Ukraine. They will be equipped with small high-speed boats, which are made in Kharkiv. Ukrainian armament will also be installed on the vessels.

“The project costs EUR 136 million. We will pay 15% of the cost directly from the state budget and finance 85% with is a special low-rate loan from the French Treasury. In addition to production and supply of the vessels, the agreement provides for servicing the vessels, training 240 crewmembers and 120 technical personnel, production of spare parts and tools necessary for maintenance of the vessels for two years of operation (or 2,400 hours), technical support in Ukraine (one technician and engineer from the manufacturer) for 60 months from the date of delivery the first vessel Ukraine, delivery of the vessels to Odesa, and insurance of the vessels during their passage," said Avakov.

Ukraine’s Deputy Minister of Interior Affairs Serhii Honcharov said that the hulls of the boats would be made of marine-grade aluminum. The new patrol vessels will be able to operate in shallow waters, reach speeds of 30-32 knots, operate autonomously for about one week, and cover distances of up to 1,200 nautical miles.

The first vessel is expected to be delivered to Ukraine in 2021. Implementation of the order will be completed by 2023. The vessels will be permanently deployed at the State Border Service’s coastguard units in Odesa, Mariupol, Berdiansk, Izmail, and Kilia.