France’s Naval Group has signed an agreement with the Argentine Navy to supply four patrol boats, including French destroyer L'Adroit, La tribune reports.
According to previous media reports, the deal covers four Gowind-class offshore patrol vessels, including three new-build boats and the original Gowind ship, L’Adroit, which was operated under a cost-free lease by the French Navy to validate the design.
However, the report states that the contract is not in force yet, as the firm is expected to complete the financing of the contract by the end of July.
Argentine Foreign Minister Jorge Faurie was quoted as saying: "The technical offer has been accepted, and now we discuss the financial arrangements for these vessels. The final price, which was decided after the Naval Group's trip in Argentina, was much closer to that of other shipyards".
The sale had initially been agreed while former Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian was defense minister in the previous French administration, but was subsequently suspended by Argentine President Mauricio Mori over the price, which he judged excessive.
Developed and financed by Naval Group as a private venture, Gowind-class vessels have been purchased by Egypt (four ships), and Malaysia (six ships).