In May, Senegal received a 14-year-old utility landing craft (LCU) transferred from France. The LCU, named the Sabre and pictured here while still serving the French Navy, was built by the Société Française de Construction Navale shipyard and originally entered service in June 1987. Fitted with a bow ramp, the craft displaces 282 tons light, or 726 tons fully loaded, and is able to transport 340 tons on board its 28.5 × 8–meter cargo deck. The vessel is operated by a crew of 17 and measures roughly 60 meters long with a 12-meter beam and a draft of less than 2 meters. As built, the craft were fitted for a single 20-mm anti-aircraft gun and two single 12.7-mm (.50-caliber) machine guns, though the weapons were rarely carried. Additional sister LCUs, part of the EDIC 700 utility program, have served with France, Senegal, and Lebanon.
By Eric Wertheim