MONS visited Naval Group in Paris to get an update on their ongoing programmes
The Naval Group (NG) team had just visited Brazil, where it has signed a contract for the construction of four ‘Scorpène’ class submarines as well as design assistance for the non-nuclear part of Brazil’s first nuclear powered submarine (this is as a result of the non-proliferation agreements signed by France). Construction work is taking place at the Itaguaí Construções Navais (ICN) shipyard, 70km south-west of Rio de Janeiro. NG reports: “The first submarine has just entered the final assembly phase, with the three separate sections of the Riachuelo assembled on 20 February. Sea trials should commence in 2019 and commissioning is scheduled for 2020.” The other submarines, Humaita, Tonelero and Ango Stura, should be delivered respectively in 2021, 2022 and 2023.
In India, INS Kalvari, the first ‘Scorpene’ class submarine for the Indian Navy, was commissioned in December 2017. NG noted: “Although the programme experienced significant delays at the beginning, we are working with our partner in India, Magazine Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL), to make-up for this delay. The last of the six submarines should be delivered in 2027-2028.”
NG is also responsible for the main shipbuilding programmes for the French Navy (Marine Nationale – MN). It is building eight Frégates Multi Mission (FREMM) in total: six with a focus on anti-submarine warfare capabilities (the sixth being scheduled for delivery this coming May) and two with a focus on anti-air warfare. It is also building five Frégates de Taille Intermediaire (FTI – export variant ‘Belh@rra’). NG commented: “The first FTI will be delivered to the MN in 2023; meanwhile, on the first week of March we will be announcing that we have selected the equipment suppliers.” Finally, the MN will also receive six ‘Barracuda’ class submarines: the first-in-class, Suffren, is scheduled for delivery in 2020, despite significant delays to the programme initially; the second is currently being built but not all equipments have been installed yet; the third and fourth have been launched; the fifth has been ordered; the sixth has not been ordered.