French first POM class patrol vessel Auguste Benebig in sails for Pacific

According to a tweet published by Emmanuel Chiva on January 17, 2023, the first POM-class patrol vessel Auguste Benebig has left the port of Brest for its home port of Noumea in the Pacific.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 First POM class patrol vessel Auguste Benebig. (Picture source: French MoD)

The Patrouilleurs Outre-mer (POM), or Félix Éboué class, are a type of six high-sea patrol vessels of the French Navy. They are to be based at Nouméa, Tahiti and La Réunion, as replacement for the P400-class patrol vessels which are nearing the end of their career. They are to be commissioned with the Navy from early 2023 into 2025.

The Félix Éboué-class vessels displace 1,300 tons fully loaded., with a length of 80 metres (262 ft 6 in), a beam of 11.8 m (38 ft 9 in), and draught of 3.5 m (11 ft 6 in).

The crew is made up of 30 sailors, but they can accommodate 29 passengers and support combat divers. They are designed to operate in strong heat and high hygrometry during thirty days, with their own craning capabilities.

They have two 8 m (26 ft) swift inflatable boats and an Airbus Aliaca unmanned aircraft system (UAS) drone. The drone, capable of up to three-hour missions over a 50-kilometre (31 mi) range, is launched by catapult and recovered automatically via a net. Eleven Aliaca UAS systems are being delivered to the French Navy by 2023 and thirteen more by 2025.

The ships are fitted with a Lyncea combat system made by Nexeya. The same system has been installed on Floréal-class and D'Estienne d'Orves-class patrol vessels since 2009

.Surveillance radars are made by Hensoldt. Armament comprises a Nexter Narwhal 20 mm (0.79 in) autogun at the bow, and four mounts for 12.7 mm (0.50 in) and 7.62 mm (0.300 in) machine guns.