The French Naval Dockyard Agency is responsible for the construction and upgrade of all French Navy ships, and also the provision of their equipment and weapons systems. For communications between geographically dispersed sites, it operated a small fleet of light aircraft from just after WW2 until 2010. In addition, a pair of Agusta-Bell 47 helicopters was used by the Establishment des Construction et Armes Navales for torpedo trials at St. Tropez. Renamed DCN in 1991, the organisation was privatised in 2003. In 2007 it absorbed the naval division of Thales, to become DCNS, where the ‘s’ stood for Systems and Services. The flying unit was disbanded in 2010.
|1631||Central control of Royal Dockyards first established.|
|1852||Naval dockyards renamed Direction du Matériel.|
|1900||Naval dockyards renamed Direction des Constructions Navales (DCN).|
|1946||Naval dockyards reorganised as Direction des Constructions et Armes Navales (DCAN).|
|1946?||First aircraft obtained.|
|1991||DCAN becomes Direction des Constructions Navales (DCN)|
|2003||DCN becomes state-owned private company called “DCN”|
|2007||DCN renamed DCNS after acquisition of Thales naval division.|
|2010||Last aircraft retired.|
The DCNS ceased operating aircraft in 2010.
It is not clear if the DCAN aircraft carried any special markings.
Aircraft Serial Numbers
DCAN aircraft had their own separate numbering system, commencing CAN1 and reaching CAN21. Each aircraft also had a French civil registration as a callsign, originally in the series F-YCZA to F-YCZP. In 1972 the callsigns were changed to F-YEEA onwards.
Coding system not used
None – Manufacturers designations used
Current Aircraft Inventory
All-Time Aircraft Used List
|Aircraft Type||Quantity||Service Entry||Out of Service||Origin|
|Max Holste MH.1521M Broussard||2||19??||1993||France|
|Morane-Saulnier MS.502 Criquet||1||19??||19??||France|
|Nord NC 856 Norvigie||1||19??||19??||France|
|Nord N.1002 Pingouin II||1||19??||19??||France|
|Nord N.1101 Ramier I||7||19??||1975||France|
|Nord N.1203 Norecrin||2||19??||1968||France|
|Wassmer CE.43 Guepard||2||1984||2010||AdlA|
Aircraft NOT Used
No false reports known.
DCAN, 40 rue du Docteur Finlay – 75015 Paris.
All aircraft were operated by the Flight Unit of the DCAN.
Current Unit Assignments
Historical Unit Assignments
All-Time Flying Units List
Current Air Bases
All-Time Air Bases Used List
All aircraft were based at Cuers.
French Military Aviation by Paul A. Jackson (Midland Counties, 1979)
European Air Forces Directory 2012/13 (Mach III)
No feature articles known.