Naval Group press release
These orders are part of the industrialization plan designed to secure the general design phase of the submarine and to complete the first hull and boiler room components. Naval Group is working with a network of French subcontractors and industrial partners on this program, which is being carried out under the supervision of the French defense procurement agency (DGA) and the French Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies Commission (CEAEA), in conjunction with the French armed forces and the French Navy. This new generation of nuclear submarines is scheduled to be deployed during the decades 2030 to 2080.
As part of the construction of the four future 3rd generation SSBNs, Naval Group has signed its first procurement contracts with various suppliers involved, such as Framatome, Aubert et Duval, CNIM and Industeel. Naval Group will coordinate the contributions of 200 French partner companies, located throughout France.
“The SNLE 3G program will mobilize more than 200 companies, 400 skills and 3,000 people, spread throughout France. These first four contracts mark the very first steps in the construction of the first submarine, which will be assembled by Naval Group at its Cherbourg site, with the first sheet metal to be cut by 2023. These contracts also illustrate long-standing partnerships with companies without whom this project would not be possible.”Anne Bianchi, director of the SNLE 3G program at Naval Group.
Although this program will be implemented over a long period of time, construction of the first SSBN will begin in 2023 for delivery in 2035. In March 2021, Naval Group signed a five-year contract with CNIM to study the design of the missile tubes that will enable the future 3G SSBN to operate the M51 missile. A contract for the production of missile tubes for the four third-generation SSBNs will then be signed in 2025. This contract, which involves the CNIM workshops in La Seyne sur Mer, marks the continuation of a partnership with this company that dates back to the creation of the deterrent force in 1961.
In May, Naval Group also signed two major contracts involving the Naval Group site in Nantes-Indret, France, for the supply of some 50 nuclear boiler room blanks. These will be produced at the forging sites in Firminy and Les Ancizes (Aubert et Duval) and Le Creusot (Framatome). These highly technological blanks represent more than three years of work. After machining at the Nantes-Indret site, these massive metal parts, such as the steam generator, will become the first components of the nuclear boiler room of the first two submarines. Orders for the last two submarines will be placed after 2025.
Finally, in June 2021, Naval Group signed a contract with Industeel for the production of six metallurgical connection parts in high-strength steel. The result of 50,000 man-hours of work, these technical parts, which will provide the interface between the different sections of the first submarine in the series, will be produced at Industeel Saint Chamond before being delivered between 2023 and 2025. Other orders will follow before 2025.
The selection of these partners with recognized expertise will contribute to increasing the capabilities and performance of these future vessels. The 3G SSBNs will have great discretion and autonomy. The capacity to carry modernized M51 ballistic missiles will enable them to be permanently capable of carrying out a nuclear strike, from any point on the seas and oceans.
At 140 meters long, the 3G SSBN is one of the most complex industrial products ever built. The first of this new generation of submarines will enter operational service by 2035. These submarines will progressively replace the second-generation Le Triomphant class submarines, to ensure the continuity of France’s nuclear deterrence posture.