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France progresses naval asset protection programme

21st October 2021 - 11:15 GMT | by Jean-Marc Tanguy

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The French Navy is receiving a dozen new armoured speedboats to protect ships and submarines in port or in harbour. (Photo: Ufast)

A dozen speedboats are being built for the French Navy by Ufast to avoid a USS Cole-style attack.

Submarines and surface vessels are vulnerable to terrorist attack as they are at anchor, tied up alongside or making their way out of harbour — and 21 years after the suicide bombing of USS Cole in Aden, navies are still working to protect vessels from attackers using speedboats or other small craft.

In France, marine infantry units (Fusiliers Marins) already conduct harbour and port patrols with unarmed Zodiac Milpro Futura 4.90m boats (without machine guns) or 7.5m-long Sillinger boats of 7.5 m which can carry a 7.62mm machine gun.

However, the lingering terrorist threat has prompted the French Navy to …

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