The French Directorate General of Armaments (DGA) has awarded Naval Group and Nexter a contract to modernize Narwhal 20B 20mm remote weapon stations (RWS) fitted aboard all French Navy surface vessels.
“With Nexter Group, Naval Group will modernize the NARWHAL remote weapon stations fitted aboard all French Navy (Marine Nationale) surface vessels,” the Naval Group posted on its official Twitter account on Tuesday.
The contract was reportedly awarded in mid-January. Sea trial of a frigate fitted with Narwhal 20B in its new “V1” version began last month. Full deployment of the upgraded “Narwhal 20B V1” across French Navy surface combatants is scheduled for 2020-2021, Naval News reported last week.
In addition, certification of Narwhal 20B in “V2” version is targeted for mid-2021. Deployment on French naval vessels will be completed before the first half of 2022.
Nexter and Naval Group will work on a new, future system, through feasibility studies that will be launched this year. A concept study will be proposed to the DGA in October 2021, the report said.
The improvements include a new “warning shot” mode, improved man machine interface.
The DGA awarded Nexter a contract in July 2019 a separate contract regarding the modernization studies of the Narwhal 20B fitted aboard the three La Confiance-class PAG patrol vessels of the French Navy.
Naval Group and Nexter signed a contract in December 2019 to equip the French Navy’s next-generation FDI frigates with the Narwhal 20B in its V1 version. These mounts will be retrofitted to the V2 variant in the long term. Six new offshore patrol vessels known as POM (Patrouilleur d’Outre-Mer) are also set to be fitted with the systems.