5 Cen­turies of Mar­itime Prow­ess

Naval Group (DCNS) as ship­builder and in­te­gra­tor

Vayu Aerospace and Defence - - News -

DCNS, which has just changed its name to NAVAL GROUP, traces its routes back to 1631 and is as­suredly one of the world’s lead­ing ship­builder and in­te­gra­tor. Also: Irkut MC-21’s Maiden Flight; INIOHOS 2017; FAMEX 2017.

The DCNS of to­day can trace its roots back to 1631, when France’s Louis XIII or­dered the con­struc­tion of new naval ship­yards. More than just an ad­min­is­tra­tive de­ci­sion, this move was a rad­i­cal change in naval ship­build­ing. It aimed to bring to­gether un­der one or­gan­i­sa­tion the best ex­perts and in­fras­truc­ture that France had to offer in terms of naval ar­chi­tec­ture, con­struc­tion, sys­tems in­te­gra­tion and main­te­nance.

Fast for­ward by nearly five cen­turies, with a tour of DCNS’s unique end-to-end in­dus­trial model, which has been ex­ported with suc­cess around the world.

Since then and till now, DCNS and its in­dus­try part­ners have de­signed and con­structed a wide range of front­line war­ships ( frigates, corvettes, land­ing plat­form deck (LPD), air­craft car­ri­ers) and sub­marines (nu­clear and con­ven­tional). But not only plat­forms, a core know-how of DCNS is in the state of the art seam­less in­te­gra­tion. Seam­less in­te­gra­tion is at the heart of to­day’s most ad­vanced war­ships. De­sign­ing th­ese re­quires the in­te­gra­tion of mul­ti­ple sys­tems to cre­ate one float­ing sys­tem ca­pa­ble of ex­e­cut­ing mul­ti­ple mis­sions. No in­di­vid­ual sys­tem can be dis­con­nected from an­other. This in­te­gra­tion of sys­tems makes the mod­ern war­ship one of the most com­plex hu­man-made sys­tems ex­tant, far more com­plex than about any other ve­hi­cle. Be­ing also a sys­tem de­signer and builder, DCNS nat­u­rally im­bibes the ca­pa­bil­i­ties of such in­te­gra­tion in com­plex plat­forms and make them adapted to any mis­sion for the French Navy or other in­ter­na­tional navies of the world.

Tac­ti­cal ships and sub­marines

DCNS is one of the few com­pa­nies in the world to have de­sign com­pe­ten­cies in both nu­clear and con­ven­tional sub­marines, hav­ing de­liv­ered 37 sub­marines, rang­ing from 2,000 tonnes to 14,000 tonnes, over the past 50 years. DCNS cur­rently de­signs, builds and/or main­tains Scor­pène 2000- class sub­marines for for­eign coun­tries such as Malaysia, Brazil and In­dia ( build­ing of 6 sub­marines for the Indian Navy un­der the P75 project). DCNS is de­sign­ing and build­ing the new Bar­racuda SSN at­tack sub­ma­rine for the French Navy, the first of which will en­ter ser­vice in 2017. It will offer a high SRS (Silent Run­ning Speed) com­bined with ex­cel­lent ma­noeu­vra­bil­ity. Its ad­vanced abil­ity to com­mu­ni­cate dis­creetly is par­tic­u­larly use­ful dur­ing cri­sis man­age­ment mis­sions. Bar­racuda can launch a large range of weapons and coun­ter­mea­sures, in­clud­ing fire-and-for­get anti-ship and land-at­tack mis­siles as well as wire-guided tor­pe­does. To im­prove its over­all ef­fi­ciency, Bar­racuda of­fers higher at-sea avail­abil­ity. Last but not least, DCNS won in 2016 a strate­gic and sus­tain­able part­ner­ship with the Com­mon­wealth of Australia for the Australia’s Fu­ture

Sub­ma­rine Pro­gramme for 50 years. “DCNS is com­mit­ted to en­sur­ing that Australia has a re­gion­ally su­pe­rior sub­ma­rine con­structed in 12 units in Ade­laide and de­vel­ops a sov­er­eign naval in­dus­try.”

The Dig­i­tal Frigate

DCNS lat­est tac­ti­cal war­ship is chris­tened Belh@rra, the new 4,000-ton dig­i­tal frigate pro­posed to meet needs of the French Navy and meet a grow­ing in­ter­na­tional de­mand for first-rate, heavy armed frigates with a dis­place­ment of 4,000 tons. Th­ese in­ter­me­di­ate- size frigates, of which the first unit will be de­liv­ered in 2023, are de­signed to re­place the La Fayette– class frigates that en­tered ser­vice with the French Navy between 1996 and 2001. They will in­cor­po­rate many in­no­va­tions such as a new ar­chi­tec­ture based upon a data cen­tre, an ad­vanced cy­ber-de­fence ca­pa­bil­ity, a mod­ern Com­mand In­for­ma­tion cen­tre, a new, ex­tremely pow­er­ful radar, etc. Belh@arra is a good ex­am­ple of DCNS in­vest­ments to en­sure se­cu­rity of op­er­a­tions and ship’s dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion, which are key to main­tain com­pet­i­tive­ness and re­tain our cus­tomer con­fi­dence.

Fu­ture plat­forms in In­dia

Mazagon Dock Ship­builders Lim­ited (MDL) is a nat­u­ral part­ner for DCNS, hav­ing de­vel­oped a suc­cess­ful co­op­er­a­tion for con­struc­tion of the mod­ern and ad­vanced Kal­vari- class sub­marines. In In­dia, DCNS is also in­volved in the project of 4 LPDs for which DCNS has part­nered with Pi­pavav (now Re­liance De­fence and En­gi­neer­ing Lim­ited RDEL). DCNS has pro­posed to Pi­pavav/ RDEL a mod­i­fied ver­sion of the Mis­tral type LHD to meet the Indian Navy’s spe­cific re­quire­ments.

In ad­di­tion, DCNS is in constructive dis­cus­sion with Indian Navy for fu­ture ad­vanced naval plat­forms like air­craft car­ri­ers, lat­est gen­er­a­tion cy­ber- se­cured frigates-and more. “The French ship­builder is avail­able to pro­vide key tech­nolo­gies and de­sign to en­sure in­dige­nous build­ing of any ad­vanced tac­ti­cal ships at Indian ship­yard through trans­fer of tech­nol­ogy.” The in­dige­nous ship­build­ing of plat­forms like an air­craft car­rier will en­able DCNS to in­cor­po­rate and work to­gether with Indian de­sign en­gi­neers and in­dus­trial houses from the early stage of con­cep­tion and thus en­hanc­ing lo­cal ex­per­tise and in­dige­nous con­tent for fu­ture ad­vanced naval plat­forms.

Fu­ture sub­marines

AIP be­ing a strong re­quire­ment of the Indian Navy and in line with the ob­jec­tive to con­tin­u­ously in­crease the high in­dige­nous con­tent of the P75 sub­marines (al­ready achieved,) DCNS have been sup­port­ive of

the in­dige­nous DRDO AIP be­ing de­vel­oped at NMRL. “We in­deed are keen to have the DRDO AIP in­te­grated in the P75 sub­marines sooner or later and are ad­vis­ing NMRL on the safety re­quire­ment so that they can adapt their tech­nol­ogy and gen­eral ar­range­ment of the var­i­ous sub­sys­tems ac­cord­ingly.”

DCNS, un­der pa­tron­age of the French Navy has de­vel­oped the lat­est gen­er­a­tion, safest and mod­ern tor­pedo F-21 for SSN Bar­racuda- class sub­marines. In­te­gra­tion of such heavy weight tor­pedo in any sub­ma­rine is a com­plex and costly task, but DCNS be­ing an in­te­gra­tor and de­vel­oper of ad­vanced com­bat man­age­ment sys­tems the F-21 tor­pedo can seam­lessly be in­te­grated with the Subtics CMS fam­ily of the Scor­pène sub­marines. This can of course be done in co­or­di­na­tion with sound de­fence in­dus­trial ecosys­tem in In­dia for the in­creased in­dige­nous con­tent.

Stand alone sys­tems

Hav­ing de­liv­ered eight in­dige­nously-made stealth raft mounted gear­boxes for four an­ti­sub­ma­rine corvettes (P28 project), built at Gar­den Reach Ship­builder and En­gi­neers (GRSE), DCNS wants now to co­op­er­ate with Indian com­pa­nies on new gen­er­a­tion DCNS Ver­sa­tile Gear­box (DVG) for fu­ture naval war­ships and plat­forms.

DCNS is also propos­ing ad­vanced sim­u­la­tors for sub­ma­rine ap­pli­ca­tions to the Indian Navy. Such sim­u­la­tors are be­ing pro­posed with high in­dige­nous con­tent and in part­ner­ship with Goa Ship­yard Lim­ited (GSL) which is not only a key ship­builder but also cen­tre of ex­cel­lence for sim­u­la­tors.

“In ad­di­tion, DCNS (and its sub­sidiaries like Sirehna) pro­pose to Indian Navy and Indian ship­yards ad­vanced tac­ti­cal sys­tems and equip­ment like lat­est gen­er­a­tion, PLCbased IPMS, lat­est gen­er­a­tion heli­copter land­ing grids, Dy­namic Po­si­tion­ing Sys­tems (DPS) and much more. With sup­port of Indian sub­sidiary DCNS In­dia and its sound in­dus­trial ecosys­tem pow­ered by qual­i­fied MSMEs, DCNS is also in po­si­tion to offer con­sid­er­able in­dige­nous con­tent while propos­ing our sys­tems and equip­ment, in com­plete sync with Gov­ern­ment of In­dia’s ‘Make in In­dia’ pol­icy.”

de­vel­op­ment phase

DCNS has per­formed a qual­i­fi­ca­tion fir­ing of the F21 tor­pedo as part of the Artémis pro­gramme led by the DGA ( Di­rec­tion Générale de l’Arme­ment). Artémis aims to equip all French Navy nu­clear sub­marines with this heavy weight tor­pedo, the high­est per­form­ing one of its gen­er­a­tion. This qual­i­fi­ca­tion fir­ing was per­formed un­der the author­ity of the DGA in a se­cured mar­itime area. It was pre­ceded by about twenty in­dus­trial sea tri­als on pro­to­types from DCNS’s test ves­sel Pé­gase and COMEX’s ves­sel JANUS, as well as from sub­marines. This qual­i­fi­ca­tion fir­ing, which was con­ducted off the Mediter­ranean coast, builds in par­tic­u­lar on fir­ings since the end of 2016. With the com­ple­tion of th­ese mile­stones, the Artémis pro­gramme has now en­tered its fi­nal de­vel­op­ment phase.

The F21 heavy­weight tor­pedo was de­signed to neu­tralise en­emy ves­sels and sub­marines. With a range in ex­cess of 50km and a speed greater than 50 knots, the F21 is fore­seen for oper­a­tion not only in deep wa­ters but above all in coastal ar­eas with high lev­els of noise and dense ship­ping. Thanks to its sig­nif­i­cant com­put­ing power that al­lows for ‘ex­cep­tional’ real-time pro­cess­ing ca­pac­i­ties, the F21 tor­pedo ben­e­fits from an ad­vanced mis­sion sys­tem and ex­tended au­ton­omy. Th­ese tech­ni­cal char­ac­ter­is­tics con­sid­er­ably widen its pos­si­bil­i­ties for tac­ti­cal use with an ‘ un­equalled’ tar­get dis­crim­i­na­tion ca­pac­ity, in­clud­ing in very chal­leng­ing en­vi­ron­ments.

This will grad­u­ally equip all French sub­marines, start­ing in 2018. The con­tract in­cludes the de­vel­op­ment and de­liv­ery of about one hun­dred F21 tor­pe­does and their in­te­gra­tion into French sub­marines. The Brazil­ian Navy has also se­lected the F21 to equip its sub­marines.

F-21 tor­pedo

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