DCNS and Navantia have ended their 15-year-long collaboration on the Scorpène submarine project after an acrimonious fallout over intellectual property. The split comes after an 18-month court battle during which Navantia was accused of siphoning off technology to develop its own submarine project. The French and Spanish defence giants co-built four submarines, two each for the navies of Chile and Malaysia.
The rights to build and market the Scorpène submarine now belong solely to DCNS. Navantia will concentrate efforts on its larger S80 design, which includes air-independent propulsion and a land-attack cruise missile capability. Four of the class are currently under construction for the Spanish Navy. A proposed export version would become a direct competitor to the less potent Scorpène design. DCNS presently has 13 submarines on order, nine for India and four for Brazil.