Suffren entered “active duty” (admission au service actif in French) on 3 June 2022. Starting last november, Suffren took part in the ANTARES mission, an operational deployment in the Mediterranean Sea and Indian Ocean. The presence of France’s most advanced SSN in the Charles de Gaulle CSG was first announced by French President Emmanuel Macron:
During this deployment, the submarine contributed to the knowledge and anticipation of crises in areas of strategic interest, thus contributing to France’s autonomous decision-making capability, the MoD added.
Through these missions and its contribution with other deployed units, Suffren participated in the preparation of Navy future operations in the region. Under the authority of the Task Force 473 staff, the Suffren SSN also validated its ability to conduct a strike against land-based targets with a naval cruise missile (MdCN), in coordination with other units of the CSG, particularly the multi-mission frigates and Rafale Marine fighter jets.
During this operational deployment, the crew made a stopover in Souda Bay (Greece) before heading back to sea during the end-of-year celebrations. Completing a mission started on November 22, Suffren’s crew members were reunited with their families upon their arrival at the quay. The submarine will now begin its annual maintenance period.
This operational deployment completes three cycles carried out by the two crews of the vessel since its departure from the drydock (for maintenance) in April 2022. Since then, the submarine have been available for nearly 240 days, including 190 days at-sea.
During this time, Suffren completed the validation of its operational capabilities before being admitted to active service. Suffren-class SSNs carry out the same missions as Rubis-class SSNs (protection of high value units, information gathering, intervention) with superior differentiating capabilities (speed, endurance, support of special forces, ability to strike against land with cruise missiles).
To learn more about Suffren, check out our in-depth coverage and rare access aboard the submarine: