Wings for the Ariane 6 transport ship
Wings for the Ariane 6 transport ship
© Tom Van Oossanen / Jifmar Group

Wings for the Ariane 6 transport ship

The Ro-Ro Canopée, built especially for transporting the new European space launcher, completed the final stage of its final arming this summer: the installation of its four large sail wings.

Serving Ariane 6

The hybrid industrial freighter Canopée, designed for ArianeGroup to transport components of the future launcher Ariane 6 from European ports to Guyane, combines diesel propulsion and velic assistance.

It was built under the management of shipowner Jifmar Offshore Services, based in Aix-en-Provence (Bouches-du-Rhône), and is operated commercially by shipping company Alizés, based in Lorient (Morbihan).

The latter is a joint venture between Jifmar Offshore Services and the company Zéphyr et Borée, in Nantes (Loire-Atlantique).

The vessel left Neptune Marine's shipyards in Hardinxveld-Giessendam, the Netherlands, in December 2022, and performed the following January her first transatlantic crossing.

She measures 121 m long by 22 wide, and is capable of displacing 5 000 tons at a speed of 16.5 knots.

Around ten times a year, it will be required to operate rotations between the ports of Bremen in Germany, Rotterdam in the Netherlands, Le Havre and Bordeaux in mainland France, and the Pariacabo port in Kourou, near the Guyana Space Center.


Substantial savings

This summer at Caen-Ouistreham, Canopée was fitted out with her four helical wings, which was the final stage in her definitive outfitting.

Fabricated in composite, these wings each offer a windward surface area of over 360 square meters (33 meters high and 11 wide), and boast an air draft of 49.90 meters above the water.

The sails can be lowered, with the structures remaining in place.

Such a system is expected to deliver fuel savings of between 20 and 35%, or 5 to 10 % more than the world's best-performing ram systems installed on board modern merchant ships.

Canopée's wings were designed by startup Ayro, founded by Breton naval architecture firm VPLP Design, at a cost of €5 M.

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