DCNS: future partnership with TKMS a possibility

An executive handling strategy for France’s DCNS has said merger talks with Germany’s Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems may be considered in the future, with European shipbuilders needing to consolidate in the face of new competition.

DCNS’s Andreas Loewenstein, speaking to reporters, said DCNS would not have a “hegemonic claim” in any such tie-up, and it would aim to mimic the success of EADS/Airbus.

Loewenstein said that it might currently be too soon to have such discussions, however, following TKMS’s lost bid to build Australia’s next fleet of submarines.

“It’s not perhaps the best moment just now for such discussions, but once the German side has overcome its disappointment, we’d be ready,” AFP reports him as saying.

Australian Defence Magazine notes that European shipbuilders are facing smaller amounts of work for projects and stiff competition from Russian and Asian companies.

“The question is, in view of high investments in technology, how many of us will survive?” said Loewenstein.

DCNS recently beat TKMS and Japanese bids to design Australia’s upcoming $50 billion Future Submarines fleet.

Unnamed German sources have reportedly criticised the vagueness of the evaluation criteria, such as those around noise levels.