PARIS — Naval Group is offering Poland the creation of 2,000 local jobs as part of industrial cooperation on its offer of the Scorpene attack submarine, said a spokesman for the French shipbuilder.
That French offer also includes arming the Scorpene with a naval cruise missile and working with Poland on marine renewable energy, the spokesman said Wednesday.
Those were key elements in the company’s pitch of four Scorpene submarines this week at the MSPO defense trade show at Kielce, where Naval Group Chairman and CEO Hervé Guillou was scheduled to make presentations to Polish authorities.
Poland’s defense minister called for at least three new submarines armed with “deterrence instruments” in a fresh approach to its presence in the Baltic sea, Radio Poland reported April 23.
Naval Group is competing with Saab Kockums and ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems for the Polish Navy order.
TKMS in February was awarded a Norwegian order for its diesel-electric 212 boat, beating a rival offer from Naval Group.
That Norwegian order for four submarines was partnered with a German buy of two boats, which helped to cut the unit price. There was also the possibility that Poland and the Netherlands could buy the TKMS submarine, Norway’s defense minister said.
Naval Group signed Jan. 25 a memorandum of understanding with Polish state-run defense firm PGZ to cooperate on building submarines.
That agreement was “purely industrial,” lacked French political backing and simply allowed discussion of possible cooperation, reported specialist publication Mer et Marine.
Political relations between France and Poland chilled after Warsaw canceled in October exclusive talks for a 50-strong order for the H225M Caracal military transport helicopter from Airbus Helicopters. That Polish rejection angered the then-French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, who is now foreign minister.
Naval Group’s offer of a cruise missile for the Polish Navy is based on a submarine-launched version of a long-range naval weapon built by MBDA. The European missile maker is adapting the cruise missile for arming the Barracuda, a new attack submarine being built for the French Navy and due for a tardy delivery in 2019.
The nuclear-powered Barracuda will replace the Rubis class of submarines.
The French Navy’s FREMM multimission frigate has carried since 2012 the surface-launched version of the cruise missile, which was initially designed for air launch.