The next generation submarine nuclear-powered attack submarine (SSN) started its sea trials with a static dive test on April 28. As we reported previously, the sea trails are planned in three phases:
- Phase 1 took place around Cherbourg (where Naval Group’s submarine shipyard is located and where the first static diving was conducted)
- Phase 2 in Brest area, in Britanny (for deep diving tests)
- Phase 3 in Toulon area (in the late summer of 2020) for tests of the weapon systems. This is where the SSN will eventually be commissioned in late 2020 and home ported.
The need to transition to Brest area for deep water tests is because waters around the English Channel/Cherbourg area are too shallow.
About Suffren-class SSN
The Suffren-class is designed to replace the Rubis-class in the French Navy (Marine Nationale). Naval Group is in charge of the construction of this submarines series, including the design and construction of the ship and information systems as well as the manufacturing of the main components of nuclear boiler rooms.
The “launch event” took place on July 12 2019 in presence of French president Emmanuel Macron. The actual “launch in the water” took place on August 1st, when the submarine entered the water for the first time at the Naval Group shipyard in Cherbourg, Normandie.
Suffren-class submarines specifications
- Surface displacement: 4,700 tonnes
- Diving displacement: 5,300 tonnes
- Length: 99 metres
- Diameter: 8.8 metres
- Maximum depth: > 350 meters
- Armament: naval cruise missiles, F21 heavy-weight wire-guided torpedoes, modernized Exocet SM39 anti-ship missiles
- Hybrid propulsion: pressurized water reactor derived from the reactors on board the Triomphant-type SSBN and Charles-de-Gaulle aircraft carrier, two propulsion turbines, two turbo generators and two electric motors
- Crew: 65 crew members + approx. 15 commandos
- Availability: > 270 days per year
To learn more about the Barracuda type, check out our in-depth reporting