Areas of expertise

Led by DCNS’ Innovation and Technical Management Department, the key technologies involved in conception, construction and maintenance of all DCNS products have been identified and classed into 80 fields of technical expertise.

Areas of expertise

  • Submarine Architecture, Energy and Propulsion
  • Combat System Architecture and software-based systems
  • Platform and Diving Security Systems
  • Warship Surface Architecture, EMR and Hydrodynamic Structure
  • Nuclear, Materials and Processes
  • Human Factors, Communications, Acoustic Discretion and Signatures, Air-to-Surface Combat


Submarine Architecture, Energy and Propulsion

This field concerns underwater combat, where submarine weaponry is vital. Their integration onboard a submarine demands specific skills.

The field also deals with life onboard ship (air conditioning, refrigeration, management of the atmosphere), electronic systems, dominance of energy and propulsion, transforming energy into a means of motion for the ship (including periods when there is no access to atmosphere). The field also involves the main knowledge factor in submarine environment: submarine acoustic discretion.


Combat System Architecture and software-based systems

At the heart of this field is software, which is a key component of military ships. Computer programmes are present everywhere: in a vessel’s combat system; in the surveillance and management of its facilities (propulsion, electricity production, etc.); as well as in its navigation systems.

Software also has its place on land; in facililties for training teams, in tools for creating computer programmes and in naval combat simulations.

This field involves the design, production and development of all such systems. It likewise deals with the naval specificities of onboard computers, their infrastructures and networks, as well as the fight against cyber-threats.


Diving Platform System and Diving Safety

This encompasses all the ship’s systems, except propulsion, whose main technologies are mechanical or fluid circuit-based. These systems include diving safety, which is particular to submarines and lets them dive, navigate under water and surface efficiently. Risk systems for submarine security while diving, such as torpedo launching tubes, are also part of this research area.

In addition, the field covers the engineering support sector (logistics studies and classification of all articles bought and sold by DCNS), as well as their physical integration on the ship arrangement studies.


Warship Surface Architecture, MRE Hydrodynamics and Structure

Warship Surface Architecture, Hydrodynamics and Structure deal with some of the ship’s major performances and methods of achieving them. These include hull structure (resistance to water pressure and to shock and blast resulting from military attack); hydrodynamics (the ship’s speed and sea keeping); safety, vulnerability and eco-design (health, safety and environment); naval architecture (the ship’s capacity to deploy arms as well as helicopters or unmanned vehicles, to accommodate the crew and to ensure weight and stability).

Marine Renewable Energy Architecture deals with the capacity to install energy-recovery systems (tidal stream turbines, floating wind turbines, ocean thermal energy conversion) on a platform at sea and to ensure their stability.

All these fields are linked with most of DCNS’ other technical fields


Nuclear and Materials and Processes.

The nuclear field is linked to integration of nuclear reactors onboard ships, to studies of nuclear safety and  radiation protection. It also has a role in design, manufacture, maintenance and dismantlement of onboard nuclear reactors, as well as in all land-based nuclear facilities, whether civil or military, and in operating these nuclear plants.

The Materials and Processes field includes all metal and non-metal materials used in DCNS products, as well as the basic manufacturing and verification procedures utilised during their construction.

This field is closely related to other technical areas. Its primary purpose is to furnish DCNS with the tools necessary for choosing and defining materials, manufacturing processes, control and verification methods, and surface coatings that will guarantee performance of all products during their entire life span. It provides also methods for corrosion control.


Human Factors, Communications, Discretion and Signatures, Air-to-Ground Combat Above Surface  Warfare (ASuW)

Air-to-Ground Combat Above-Surface warfare provides ships with means to detect and identify airborne and surface threats as early as possible by drawing on their surveillance equipment (radar and optronic sensors). It likewise provides ways to neutralise or destroy these threats by electronic warfare, missiles or artillery.

One fights one’s enemies but also seeks to avoid, escape or overcome them. The role of Discretion and Signatures is to develop the various means whereby a ship can delay detection by the enemy, increase its effectiveness in decoy operations and take full advantage of other means of evasion.

Human Factors’ objectives are to design ships that will be operated with maximum efficiency by crews. Work organisation, Human System interaction, and the entire ship design must be human-centered.

Communications insures that the ship or fleet has at its disposal all the capacities necessary for multiple exchanges of information, internally or externally. Designing communications systems as well as their onboard integration are likewise part of its mission.