Does Hervé Guillou, Naval Group's CEO, call for an “Airbus Naval” appealing to European manufacturers?

Since the start of discussions for a rapprochement between the French Naval Group and the Italian Fincantieri, two of the main European defense naval groups, one concept has come up repeatedly, that of creating "a naval Airbus". And on the occasion of his speech worth assessment before his departure, Hervé Guillou, president of Naval Group since 2014 and who will leave this post in favor of Pierre-Eric Pommellet, once again called the European naval defense industry to come together and consolidate, in order to be ready to face competition from countries like South Korea, Turkey, Russia and especially China, not to mention the United States, which, we know it, do not hesitate to interfere in European negotiations on this subject. But, like President Macron's proposals for the extension of French deterrence in Europe, this vision proposed by Hervé Guillou does not seem to create enthusiasm among certain European industrialists…

Barely elected, President Emmanuel Macron had to face, in the summer of 2017, a Franco-Italian crisis concerning the resumption of the shipyards of Saint-Nazaires, then called STX France, following the judicial recovery of the South Korean STX offshore and Shipbuilding, which had inherited the company in 2007 when the Norwegian group Aker yards was bought, having acquired these yards from the French Alstom in 2004. Indeed, at the beginning of 2017, the Fincantieri group was the only declared buyer, and in fact owned the 66% of the shares sold by STX. But the French government, fearing a slow relocation and a technological plunder of know-how and orders, put its veto, and carried out a partial nationalization of the site. To promote the assembly proposed by the new French president, Paris proposed in Rome the creation of a partnership which would bring together on a joint basis, the French Naval Group and Italian Fincantieri, with the aim of creating a European leader in shipbuilding of defense. In addition, France undertook to choose an Italian model for the replacement of its tankers of the Marine Nationale.

The Saint-Nazaires shipyards are the only ones in France able to manufacture large ships, such as the PHA or the future aircraft carrier of the French Navy

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