Idex 2017: DCNS expects to benefit from Mena countries modernising their navies

French state-controlled military shipbuilder says it will transfer technology along with any orders it receives in the region.

The French state-controlled military shipbuilder DCNS believes countries in the Mena region will modernise their navies as maritime threats intensify.

DCNS, which supplied seven frigates to Saudi Arabia between 1985 and 1994, is keen to transfer technology along with any orders it may receive in the region, said Jean-Luc Thouvenel, the GCC regional delegate for DCNS at the International Defence Exhibition and Conference (Idex) in Abu Dhabi.

The company’s representative office in the UAE is looking to boost sales in the Arabian Gulf region, but has yet to strike a new deal in the area. The French government owns 62.5 per cent of DCNS, with the other big shareholder the French defence technology company Thales.

“We are very much aware of the budget constraints due to the diminishing selling price of oil, but we are also aware that due to the threats which are developing in the area our customers will need to invest, there is no doubt about it,” said Mr Thouvenel.

The company’s biggest recent regional deal was in Egypt, where it signed several contracts in 2014 and 2015 to deliver two helicopter carriers, four Gowind corvettes and one multi-mission frigate called Tahya Misr (long live Egypt).

By 2020, DCNS will have delivered at least seven combat vessels to Egypt.

Three of the four corvettes ordered in 2014 will be built in Alexandria Shipyard in Egypt, which is part of the technology transfer deal signed with the Cairo government.

Construction of the first of three corvettes began in April last year.

Last year DCNS clinched a A$50 billion (Dh141.24bn) contract to build 12 submarines for Australia, beating Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Thyssenkrupp of Germany.

The submarines will also be built loc­ally, in Adelaide.

“We have a very big interest in the development of the military industry in the UAE,” said Mr Thouvenel.

“At DCNS we have regular contact with Abu Dhabi Ship Building for industrial cooperation and implementation of a programme when the time comes.”

DCNS’s revenue in 2015 was €3bn (Dh11.63bn), half of which came from international sales.

dalsaadi@thenational.ae

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Published: February 23, 2017 04:00 AM

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