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Agosta class

Patrol submarine

Agosta class submarine

The last active French vessel of the Agosta class was decommissioned in 2001

Country of origin France
Entered service 1977
Crew  54 men
Diving depth (operational) 300 m
Diving depth (maximum) 500 m
Sea endurance 68 days
Dimensions and displacement
Length 67.6 m
Beam 6.8 m
Draught 5.4 m
Surfaced displacement 1 480 tons
Submerged displacement 1 760 tons
Propulsion and speed
Surfaced speed 12.5 knots
Submerged speed 20.5 knots
Diesel engines 2 x 3600 hp
Electric motors 1 x 2950 hp
Missiles SM.39 Exocet or UGM-84 Sub-Harpoon
Torpedoes 4 x 550-mm bow tubes with 23 torpedoes
Other or 46 influence ground mines


   Designed by the French Directorate of Naval Constructions as very quiet but high-performance submarines for operations in the Mediterranean, the boats of the Agosta A90 class are each armed with four bow torpedo tubes that are equipped with a pneumatically rammed rapid-reload system that can launch weapons with the minimum of noise signature. The tubes were of a completely new design which allows the submarine to fire its weapons at all speeds and at any depth down to its maximum operational limit.

   The four boats in service with the French navy as its last conventionally powered submarines up to their decommissioning early in the 21st century were the Agosta, Beveziers, La Praya and Ouessant. All were authorised in the 1970-75 naval programme as the follow-on class to the Daphne class coastal submarines. La Praya was refitted with a removable swimmer delivery vehicle container aft of the sail to replace similar facilities that had been available aboard the Narval, lead boat of an obsolete class of six oceangoing submarines deleted during the 1980s.

   The Spanish navy received four locally built Agosta-class boats during the early 1980s, namely the Galerna, Siroco, Mistral and Tramontana using French electronics as well as French armament in the form of the L5, F17 and E18 torpedoes. In mid-1978 Pakistan purchased two units (built originally for South Africa but embargoed before delivery) as the Hashmat and Hurmat, and in 1994 ordered three more boats of the improved Agosta A90B class with a number of improved features.

   During the 1980s the French boats were revised with the capability to fire the SM.39 underwater-launched variant of the Exocet anti-ship missile, whereas Pakistan looked to the other side of the Atlantic and sought to procure the UGM-84 submarine-launched version of the US Harpoon anti-ship missile.



Agosta class submarine

Agosta class submarine

Agosta class submarine


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