Letter to a friend:
“The three castles”


My dear friend,

I live in an old country full of history, covered with all kind of castles, fortresses and cathedrals. They were solidly built on a rocky height, at strategic crossroads, designed to meet the needs of the people from a given territory. All kinds of activities, multiple skills, a variety of cultures were developed behind and afoot their thick walls.  Their architectural styles varied according to their region. These citadels have valiantly resisted to many conflicts, disasters and the damages of time. One do not erect anymore buildings in heavy stones or massive beams: architectures of today want to be light, translucent and ephemeral as clouds in a changing sky 

This is how I see our top three submarine systems suppliers. They dominate the plain from the top of their respective dungeon. These citadels were built in the 19th century each in a defined territory, Europe, America and Asia. They were logically located at the strategic crossroads that are the access roads of the Atlantic and the Pacific. Their slow construction responded to clear geopolitical ambitions, wills of conquest and influence. 

These fortresses cleverly managed to evolve, open their doors, adapt themselves, and broaden their capabilities. The world has changed but these three houses are still ideally fitted and located, together competitor and complementary so as to meet the needs of an open world. They draw their strength from their long history and the rich depth of their environment. As a result they continue to enjoy the trust of the market.

Are we going to see, one day, the successful emergence of a new structure? It is my conviction that the number 3 is the ideal one, small enough to keep costs reasonable and large enough to ensure the necessary competition. As a consequence, a new build needs to come through the collapse or the shooting down of one of the “citadels” 

My dear friend, I’ve recently paid visit to an old village, south of France, where three castles had ruled peacefully the area for a very long time. The construction of a fourth one provoked a war that ended with four ruins!

Jean Devos
AQEST Senior Advisor

PS: If a new citadel is built, a Chinese one for instance, which one of the three others will collapse?

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