Our centuries on the waves

Naval Group’s heritage stretches back nearly four hundred years. Let’s take a look at some of the milestones from our rich history.


Cardinal Richelieu, then First Minister to Louis XIII, orders the construction of new naval dockyards with the aim of boosting French maritime power to a level rivalling that of Britain.


Work begins on the port in Cherbourg. Work was completed in 1813.


By the end of the 18th century, France has become a major naval power thanks to its network of dockyards in Brest, Cherbourg, Lorient, Nantes-Indret, Rochefort, Ruelle and Toulon.


All of Naval Group’s current French sites were established by this time.


The first French ballistic missile submarine – Le Redoutable – is launched. The submarine was in service for 20 years, at the conclusion of which it had travelled 1.27 million kilometres – the equivalent of circling the globe 32 times.


The new-generation Rubis class attack nuclear submarines are the world’s most compact nuclear submarines, designed for deterrent anti-submarine warfare.


Work begins on designing the La Fayette stealth frigate, whose innovative design will inspire navies all around the world.


The launch of Le Triomphant, the first new-generation Ship Subsurface Ballistic Nuclear (SSBN) submarine. Larger, faster and much quieter than her predecessors, Le Triomphant is also 10 times better at detecting other submarines. Four submarines of this class were built by DCNS, the last – Le Terrible – entering service in 2010.


The La Fayette stealth frigate is commissioned.


Entry into service of the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, the only nuclear-powered warship built in Europe.


Construction of six Scorpene® submarines for the Indian Navy.


Delivery of the first Mistral-class Projection and Command Ship (BPC), a new concept in warships with the ability to deliver a broad spectrum of civilian, military and humanitarian missions.


The first steel plate is cut for the Aquitaine-class FREMM frigates, the most modern frigate in the world. The most technologically advanced and competitive frigate in the market, these multi-mission frigates are designed for air defence, surface warfare and submarine warfare roles.

DCN becomes DCNS. Thales takes a 25% equity stake in DCN to create a major world-class naval defence industry player. With a broader scope of action and greater autonomy, the new company is well equipped to grow and conquer the world market.


We expand into marine renewable energy.


Itaguai Construcoes Navais opens in Brazil.


The largest international contract in our history, the Prosub contract, is signed with Brazil. The contract covers the design, construction and transfer of technology of four Scorpène® class S-BR conventional submarines. All four submarines will be built by the Itaguaí Construções Navais joint venture owned by DCNS and local partner Odebrecht. The contract also includes support with the design and construction of a naval base and dockyard. This contract underlines the ability of the Group to structure innovative partnerships that serve its international customers under the terms of ambitious technology transfer agreements.


The French Navy takes delivery of the OPV L’Adroit. Designed and built in record time, the Gowind® OPV L’Adroit was funded entirely by DCNS. This offshore patrol vessel has the capability to deliver a broad range of surveillance and policing tasks at sea. L’Adroit is the first vessel of its class to be designed and built for the deployment of unmanned airborne and surface surveillance vehicles.


DCNS Arabia is formally established in Saudi Arabia. Delivery of the first FREMM multi-mission frigate to the French Navy.


DCNS Technologies Canada Inc. opens in Canada.


Hervé Guillou is appointed Chairman and CEO of DCNS.
DCNS has been contracted to supply six Gowind® corvettes to Egypt – one to be built at DCNS Lorient, and the other five to be built in Alexandria.
DCNS wins the contract to maintain French Navy minehunters.


DCNS Australia is formally established.
DCNS is invited to participate in the Australian Government’s Future Submarine Program – SEA1000 Competitive Evaluation Process.


The Australian Government selects DCNS as its preferred international partner for the design of 12 Future Submarines for the Royal Australian Navy.
DCNS announces partnership with Indigenous Defence Consortium
DCNS signs the Design and Mobilisation Contract which focuses on program set up and coordination with the Combat System Integrator (CSI) and the Australian partners, and commences activities for the development of the submarines for the Australian Navy.


DCNS becomes Naval Group.
Naval Group officially opens Australian headquarters in Adelaide.