Gowind® range: a DCNS product finding success on the export market



Philippe Darche DCNS

After several years of gestation, the Gowind® line of products has allowed us to position ourselves on the corvette market, in a context of very strong European competition. The Gowind® corvettes have already met with significant commercial success, with ten units sold in 2012 and 2014 to the Royal Malaysian Navy (six vessels) then the Egyptian Navy (four). Philippe Darche, Operational Marketing manager for the Corvette product line, presents the advantages that are characteristic of a product whose strength is to “combine attractiveness and competitiveness”.

The Gowind® product: concentrated military performance combined with cutting-edge technology

“DCNS developed the Gowind® generation of corvettes to address the needs of navies wishing to modernise or expand their fleet thanks to combat vessels that are at the same time compact, robust and well equipped, with cutting-edge on-board systems and weapons, and force projection capabilities.
DCNS has therefore endowed this range of products with the historical know-how on which the Group’s reputation is built. The equipment installed ensures that these combat vessels are able to take on air, submarine and land-based threats. In effect, they incorporate the latest technological advances developed and mastered by DCNS: the SETIS® combat management system, derived from that used on the FREMM frigates, and the Panoramic Sensors and Intelligence Module (PSIM), a vertical assembly housed in a single mast containing the sensors, the associated technical rooms and the Operations Room.
These innovations, which are also used to improve the surveillance capabilities of OPVs for their maritime anti-trafficking and policing missions for example conducted by the offshore patrol vessel L’Adroit, ensure that the Gowind® corvettes have 360° anti-aircraft and anti-surface vessel capabilities. Furthermore, the platform used for these corvettes provides unequalled volume and first-rate nautical qualities, in particular with the capacity to deploy a helicopter in the 10t class and aerial drones.
This proven technical know-how in terms of platforms and system integration thanks to the feedback from the French Navy and foreign client navies, represented a significant advantage for the Gowind® 2500, allowing DCNS to win the calls for tender issued by Malaysia and Egypt.”

“The corvettes in the Gowind® range have been designed so that they can be built by foreign shipyards, with the support of DCNS.”

Technology transfer, an additional advantage for the Gowind® range

“In addition to the affirmation of military sovereignty sought by foreign powers, local investment allowing the development of their own industries was also expected. Indeed, DCNS proposes a complete service offering with respect to technology transfer, whether in the area of design or construction, and the corvettes in the Gowind® range have been designed so that they can be built by foreign shipyards, with the support of DCNS.
The Malaysian Navy has ordered six Gowind® corvettes, which will be built locally, with technical assistance from DCNS provided by our client and partner Boustead Naval Shipyard. The transfer of know-how takes place in two steps: last year a construction support team and a design team worked in pairs with the Malaysian engineers on the DCNS site in Lorient before continuing this collaboration in Lumut in the Malaysian shipyard where the team of DCNS engineers and technicians will be strengthened in the run-up to the first delivery, scheduled for 2019.
For the Egyptian Navy, which has ordered four units, the first unit will be built by DCNS in Lorient, for delivery in 2017. Several teams from the ASY naval shipyard in Alexandria are currently being trained on the site. The following three corvettes will be built in Egypt through a technology-transfer programme.
DCNS is therefore pursuing a long-term partnership approach with its clients.”

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Rigorous programme management

“DCNS honours its cost and schedule commitments in particular thanks to rigorous programme management, a design approach that favours re-use within a given line of products and an organisation based on collaborative platforms bringing together the engineers and technicians working on the two programmes.
This organisation has allowed a very significant reduction of the design-study lead time required for tailoring the Gowind® corvette to the needs of the Egyptian Navy.
Thanks to the advanced design, the corvette construction schedule becomes increasingly short from one programme to the next. As a result, the start of construction of the first of the four Egyptian units took place at the end of September, i.e., just five and a half months after the start of machining. And delivery is planned for less than four years after the signature of the contract in May 2014!
The strength of the Gowind® product is the fact that it strikes the right balance between attractiveness and competitiveness, which opens promising perspectives to enter new markets, in particular in the Middle East, northern Europe and South America.”