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France Awards Submarine Deal to DCN, Areva

France's Defense Ministry said Friday it awarded a 7.9 billion euro ($10.4 billion) contract for nuclear-propelled submarines to state-owned warship builder DCN and nuclear energy group Areva.

The companies will supply six Barracuda submarines between 2016 and 2027, a ministry spokeswoman said.

Areva, whose Areva Technicatome unit will supply the new submarines with nuclear-powered boilers, will take around 15 percent of the contract's value, while the rest will go to DCN.

The Barracudas will replace the former generation of Rubis submarines.

The contract comes at a critical time for DCN, which is close to completing a naval tie-up with defense electronic group Thales SA. Thales will take a 25 percent stake in DCN in exchange for some of DCN's naval assets. It should be completed early next year. The French state will retain a 75 percent share in DCN.

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