The third submarine of the Barracuda class has left its construction hall in order to be transferred to the DME floating platform-type shiplift, builder Naval Group announced July 21. It is part of a series of six SSNs that will gradually replace the submarines of the Rubis-class currently in service within the French Navy.
Its rollout on July 20 is a key step in the programme’s progress which will lead to the beginning for its sea trials in 2024, the naval builder said, Prior to this, completion work and initial tests will be carried out at quayside.
Pierre Eric Pommellet, CEO of Naval Group said: “The rollout of the third Barracuda submarine is a major milestone for Naval Group and all its partners, in particular TechnicAtome and the CEA (French Atomic Energy and Alternative Energy Commission). We are fully committed to this major program, which we are proud to lead on behalf of the DGA and the French Navy, and which will provide France with an unrivalled defense tool. This event is a reminder that French industry is proudly at the service of our armed forces. I salute the commitment of all the men and women involved in making this programme a success.”
Naval Group is in charge of the production of these submarines, from their design to their construction, as well as the manufacture of the main components of the nuclear boilers which are developed and produced with TechnicAtome. Naval Group is also in charge of providing logistical support and maintaining the submarines in Toulon.
The Barracuda programme calls on the skills of all Naval Group sites, as well as on the industrial sites of TechnicAtome and numerous partner companies.
The Barracuda-class submarines will provide the French Navy with a deep strike capability thanks to MBDA’s naval cruise missiles (NCM). They are also equipped with the F21 heavyweight torpedo produced by Naval Group and the SM39 anti-ship missile from MBDA. These SSNs also allow the discreet deployment of Special Forces underwater, in particular thanks to its “divers hatch” and the optional carrying of a dry deck shelter allowing for the deployment of underwater vehicles.
This technological and capability leap is the result of more than twenty years of collective work between Naval Group and hundreds of partners of the defence industrial and technological base. A total of 2,500 men and women (including around 800 from Naval Group subcontractors) are contributing to the design and production of the Barracuda submarines. –ng/adj/mgm (Pix: Naval Group)
Technical characteristics of the Barracuda SSNs
- surface displacement: 4,700 tonnes ;
- diving displacement: 5,200 tonnes ;
- length: 99 metres ;
- diameter: 8.8 metres ;
- armament: naval cruise missiles, F21 heavy-weight wire-guided torpedoes, modernised Exocet SM39 anti-ship missiles ;
- hybrid propulsion: pressurised 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: 63 crew members + commandos ;
- availability: > 270 days per year.