Story 3
Big picture thinking
It’s all about the base

When nations build warships, they need to make sure they have the naval bases and infrastructures necessary to operate, maintain and later, upgrade their fleet.

The base can be thought of as the mother ship of the fleet. It’s location, design, facilities and operations play a vital role in fleet availability. An inefficient layout can hinder industrial operations; poor logistics can delay ship maintenance. DCNS is one of the only shipbuilders in the world that also builds and/or upgrades naval bases and shipyards and provides technology transfer and training.

Here are seven things to keep in mind when building a naval base.


1. Site selection

As in real estate, location is everything when it comes to building a greenfield naval base.

DCNS: Our services include site surveys and feasibility studies for new builds and audits of existing sites for upgrades.


2. Dimensioning

Design decisions today can save time and taxpayer money tomorrow. It is important to anticipate and plan for the requirements of your fleet today and tomorrow.

DCNS: Based on experience with the French and other navies, our experts know how to dimension the base’s infrastructure in accordance with your operational needs and budget requirements.


3. Design

Designing a naval base and yard is just as complex as designing a state-of-the-art warship. The facility must take into account a wide range of operational, industrial, safety, security and logistical parameters.

DCNS: We take base design into the future using virtual reality. This allows the engineers and specialists to simulate base operations and detecting potential conflicts and/or optimizations.


4. Engineering, Procurement and Construction Management

Design is only part of the job. The safe and successful execution of the construction project requires a best-in-class approach based on real-world experience.

DCNS: Having executed several base constructions projects around the world, our EPCM teams know how manage and integrate the activities of the engineering, procurement, and construction phases of the project, including all subcontractor and suppliers. The result is fewer interfaces and a single point of contact. One of their know-how is also about the integration of civil works, outfitting and commissioning without disturbing the day-to-day operation of an existing naval base.


5. Commissioning

This vital step in the delivery of a yard requires perfect coordination between the shipbuilder and the base builder, especially in terms of qualifying infrastructure and equipment for fleet vessels.

DCNS: Our experience in upgrading existing facilities and building new ones enables us to proactively reduce the risk of incompatibility between the ships and the port-side equipment.


6. Operations

Operating a naval base on a daily basis is a mix of complex facilities management and sensitive operations. What is the most appropriate model for base operations?

DCNS: We can help determine the best Base Operation and Support (BOS) model and provide all the services necessary for daily operations, either directly or through our DES facilities management joint venture with Veolia.


7. Maintenance and beyond

Once the fleet and base are operational, the job isn’t finished. They become a living, breathing ecosystem that requires constant improvement and optimization.

DCNS: We can plan, prepare and execute all types of maintenance on vessels and on the base itself. We also provide training and technology transfer to develop a local talent pool of sailors, designers, engineers and base operations personnel.



Construction area

Through-life support area

Training buildings

Power plant