Too fast, too far… The Economy minister Bruno Le Maire said he proposed this summer in Rome for purely tactical (file STX), an alliance between Italy and France in the naval military, which raises questions of a strategic point of view and in terms of the calendar (September 27) ? This operation is much too complex to go up in so little time, between groups that have different strategies and tools of sovereignty (STX, Fincantieri, Naval Group, Leonardo and Thales).
Moreover, according to our information, the Elysée, Matignon and the hotel de Brienne are in the process of rétropédaler. They would have understood that the military record would take time and that to link the two folders (STX/Fincantieri shipbuilding Group Fincantieri) wouldn’t work, as a good connoisseur of the subject. The two folders could potentially live on different schedules, a short-term, STX/Fincantieri, which should be set for the franco-Italian summit on 27 September, and the other of the long-term (Fincantieri/Naval Group).
An alliance for what to do in the end?
During a meeting with the Association of professional journalists of aeronautics and space (AJPAE), the CEO of MBDA, Antoine Bouvier, recalled that the creation of the first missilier european (Aerospatiale-Matra, BAE Systems and Finmeccancia) has been built through programs in co-operation made between France, Great Britain and Italy. Three companies, which at the time, did not have the critical size to launch only in such programs, said Antoine Bouvier.
Today, however, the Naval Group and Fincantieri have no program nor is, nor in the near future, on which they can hope to co-operate. Moreover, France has just launched the frigates FTI, while Italy has already started the construction of the first frigate-type PPP (Pattugliatore Polivalente Altura). Two buildings with radars radically different said Antoine Bouvier. This also proves that the two projects have the critical size to launch a program of this magnitude independently. Should it also be remembered that the joint program of frigates FREMM between Rome and Paris has resulted in ships of war very different between the two countries …
“There are two ranges of boats (to the FTI and PPP, editor’s note) which have missions that are almost identical but are completely different. The only common point what are the missiles MBDA. It is a situation that is not satisfactory,” said Antoine Bouvier.
France has nothing to envy to Italy in the naval
In a possible alliance with Fincantieri, which would bring the Italian Naval Group to share fat for fat ? The Italian shipyard has-t-he market positions with the exception of Algeria which France does not have access and/or technologies that it does not control ? The answer is no, writes the same connoisseur of the folder. Worse, France, which exports thanks to its technological excellence and capability, may have to make technology transfers in favour of Italy.
It seems urgent, therefore, to expect to avoid selling out of the interests of French… and all the more as the timing seems to be very poorly chosen for Paris : Fincantieri is today in a position of strength, through contract magic won in Qatar (€5 billion).