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Amethyste class

Nuclear-powered attack submarine

Amethyste class

The Amethyste class nuclear-powered attack submarines were designed as ASW platforms

 
 
Entered service 1992
Crew 66 men
Diving depth (operational) 300 m
Diving depth (maximum) 500 m
Sea endurance 45 days
Dimensions and displacement
Length 73.6 m
Beam 7.6 m
Draught 6.4 m
Surfaced displacement 2 400 tons
Submerged displacement 2 600 tons
Propulsion and speed
Surfaced speed 18 knots
Submerged speed 25 knots
Nuclear reactors 1 x 48 MW
Armament
Missiles and torpedoes 4 x 550-mm torpedo tubes for 14 missiles or torpedoes
Other up to 28 ground mines in place of torpedoes

 

   The initial design of the Rubis class had unexpectedly high noise levels. Upgrades were applied to the fifth and sixth hulls, the Amethyste and Perle. Both of these submarines are built to the same design, but stretched about two meters. Other improvements were made to the sonar and electronics. Hull and bow were reshaped to improve silencing.

   Two more boats were planned, but were cancelled. The Rubis and Amethyste classes are the smallest nuclear-powered attack submarines to date. Both of these submarines are based in Taulon, but operate frequently in the Atlantic.

   The Amethyste class has a typical three-deck layout of larger SSNs. These boats were designed primarily as anti-submarine platforms. They carry versions of the F17 and L5 torpedoes and underwater-launched, encapsulated SM.39 Exocet anti-ship missiles.

   These boats are powered by the French 48-megawatt reactor, driving two turbo-alternators and a main electric motor. Sea endurance is limited only by food supplies, which is estimated by 45 days.

   Between 1989 and 1995 the Rubis class boats underwent the AMETHYSTE modernization programme. It brings them up to the standard of the Amethyste class.

   A new, Barracuda or Sufren class of nuclear-powered submarines is currently under construction of the French Navy. These new boats are larger. The first boat is expected to be commissioned in 2017.

 

Name Laid down Launched Commissioned Status
Amethyste (S605) 1983 1988 1992

active, in service

Perle (S606) 1987 1990 1993

active, in service

Turquoise (S607) ? ? ?

canceled

Diamant (S608) ? ? ?

canceled

 

Video of the Amethyste class nuclear-powered attack submarine

 

 
Amethyste class

Amethyste class

Amethyste class

Amethyste class

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