On October 20, 2020, the Suffren, first of the six SSN of the Barracuda program, successfully completed a naval cruise missile test firing off the DGA missile test site.
This firing enabled the qualification of the integration of all the weapon systems of the Suffren, carried out as part of the ship’s sea trials conducted by the Directorate General of Armaments (DGA) since last April. Teams from DGA, French Navy, MBDA and Naval Group took part in this test. This success marks an important stage in the trials of the Suffren ahead of its overall qualification by the DGA and delivery to the French Navy. This is set to take place by the end of 2020, before entering active service in 2021.
With a range of several hundred kilometers, the NCM is used to destroy high strategic value infrastructures. After the FREMM frigates, the Suffren-class are the first French submarines equipped with this conventional deep strike capability. The ability to implement NCM from a submarine poses the constant and undetected threat of a strike from the sea against land based targets. According to DGA, it very significantly increases the penetration capacity of French weapons in theaters of operations.
All of Suffren’s weapon systems have now been tested
The DGA added that during its combat system trials in the Mediterranean, the Suffren also successfully carried out a test firing of an MBDA Exocet SM39 submarine launched anti-ship missile and several test firing of the new F21 heavyweight torpedo designed by Naval Group. This new generation weapon is ultimately intended for all French Navy submarines.
The qualification of the entire Suffren weapons system paves the way for the end of sea trials and its overall qualification. This will authorize its delivery to the French Navy for the verification of its military characteristics and then its admission to active service.
To learn more about the Suffren-class, check out this recent article by submarine expert H I Sutton