Industrials : DCNS
France’s High -Tech industry scored a resounding success when Australia awarded DCNS a substantial $38.6 billion military contract to build its submarine fleet. DCNS, the French state-owned naval shipbuilding firm tendered a diesel-electric version of its Shortfin Barracuda 5000-tonne nuclear-powered submarine.
The winning bid, offered to Australia the prized French stealth technology called pump-jet propulsion which with its low underwater noise makes submarines difficult to find and destroy.
France, which has territories in the Indian and Pacific oceans, was willing to share its cutting-edge stealth technology in order to build a strategic partnership with Australia. The latter would have concerns about China’s military intentions in the South China Sea and Chinese possible control of crucial trade routes in this region.
The French offer beat out rival bids from Germany and Japan. For Germany’s ThyssenKrupp, the technical challenge to scale up its small 2000-tonne submarine would have counted against it. As for Japan, it could have lost out, amongst other things, because of technical challenges involved in matching the long distance projection capabilities of the French offer. The Australian government said that the French bid included superior sensor performance, stealth characteristics, range and endurance.
With this success France would be well placed to obtain further submarine contracts from countries wishing to patrol their coveted Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs). These UN prescribed maritime zones give states special rights for exploration and use of maritime resources up to 200 nautical miles from their coasts. With its overseas departments and territories scattered all over the world’s oceans, France itself, possesses the world’s largest EEZ followed by the US and Australia.
Sources : wsj.com, Bfm business, bloomberg.com
Video source : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ueQ_ryByEps
Online publishing, April 26th, 2016