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Suffren class

Nuclear-powered attack submarine

Suffren class submarine

The Suffren class boats are way more versatile than the previous Perle/Amethyste class boats

 
 
Country of origin France
Entered service Expected in 2020
Crew 60
Diving depth (operational) ?
Diving depth (maximum) more than 350 m
Sea endurance 70 days
Dimensions and displacement
Length 100 m
Beam 8.8 m
Draught 7.3 m
Surfaced displacement 4 100 tons
Submerged displacement 5 300 tons
Propulsion and speed
Surfaced speed ~ 18 knots
Submerged speed 25 knots
Propulsion 150 MW nuclear reactor delivering power to electrical engines and pumpjet propulsor
Armament
Torpedoes 4 x 533 mm torpedo tubes for F21 Artemis heavyweight torpedoes, mines and missiles
Missiles Expcet SM.39 Block 2 anti-ship missiles, SCALP cruise missiles
Other FG29 mines

 

   Currently France is constructing a new class of nuclear-powered attack submarines for the French Navy. In 1998 project team was established, including Naval Group and TechnicAtome to oversee the design of a new nuclear-powered attack submarine. Naval Group was responsible for construction of the boat and TechnicAtome for construction of nuclear propulsion system. In 2006 French government placed an order for 6 new attack submarines, known as Barracuda class. Construction of the lead boat, Suffren, began in 2007. Eventually the Barracuda class was renamed to Suffren after the lead boat. The lead boat is planned to be commissioned in 2020. Currently 2 more boats of the class are being built for the French Navy and 3 more boats are planned. Once in service the Suffren class boats will replace the current Rubis and Amethyste class nuclear-powered attack submarines on a one-to-one basis. Once in service the Suffren class boats will be based in Toulon and will operate in the Atlantic Ocean.

   The Suffren class boats are significantly larger than the current Amethyste class boats and have nearly twice the displacement. These new boats use technology from the French Triomphant class ballistic missile submarines, including pump-jet propulsion.

   These new boats are very stealthy and emit little noise. Furthermore the Suffren class is fitted with advanced sensors to detect other submarines.

    These new French boats have four 533 mm torpedo tubes and 20 storage racks for various weapons, including F21 Artemis heavy torpedoes, Exocet SM.39 Block 2 anti-ship missiles with a range of 50 km, SCALP naval cruise missiles with a range of over 1 000 km, and FG29 mines. Two mines can be carried per weapon rack. Furthermore the Suffren class boats will be capable of launching MICA short-range air defense missiles. These will be fired from torpedo tubes in the same manner as Exocet anti-ship missiles. These sub-launched air defense missiles have a range of 20 km and can engage maritime patrol aircraft and naval helicopters.

   The Suffren class boats are fitted with advanced electronics and sonar. There is also a mine avoidance sonar. There is also a Nemesis countermeasures system, which combines evasive maneuvers with the deployment of decoys.

   Due to the high degree of automation these new boats have a crew of only 60. For special operations missions the Suffren class boats can also accommodate up to 12 commandos. Their equipment, such as a special operations mini submarine, can be carried in a mobile pod attached aft of the sail. So in terms of armament and capabilities the Suffren class boats are more versatile than the current Amethyste class boats. Their mission can be anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare, land attack, intelligence gathering and special operations.

   The Suffren class boats are powered by a 150 MW nuclear reactor. It includes several improvements over the Rubis/Amethyste class reactor. Notably it can operate for 10 years between refills, opposed to 7 years on the Rubis/Amethyste class boats. This improves availability at sea. The power is delivered to electric engines and pumpjet propulsor. Maximum speed is 25 knots (46 km/h). Nuclear reactor can operate for 10 years between refills. Sea endurance is limited only by onboard food supplies, which is 70 days.

   Naval Group also designed a conventionally-powered variant for export, called the Shortfin Barracuda. It was proposed for Australian Navy to replace the Collins class submarines, to Royal Canadian Navy to replace the Victoria class submarines, and to the Royal Netherlands Navy to replace the Walrus class boats. The Shortfin Barracuda class boats are smaller and fitted with diesel-electric propulsion system. Australian Government ordered 12 of these boats. Construction is expected to begin in 2020-2021 and much of the works will be undertaken in Australian. The Shortfin Barracuda will be locally known as Attack class, after the lead boat HMAS Attack.

 

Name Laid down Launched Commissioned Status
Suffren 2007 2019 Expected in 2020

sea trials

Duguay-Trouin 2009 ? Expected by 2025

under construction

Tourville 2011 ? Expected by 2025

under construction

De Grasse ? ? Expected by 2025

planned

Rubis ? ? Expected by 2030

planned

Casabianca or Dupetit-Thouars ? ? Expected by 2030

planned

 

 

 
Suffren class submarine

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Suffren class submarine

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Suffren class submarine

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Suffren class submarine

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Suffren class submarine

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Suffren class submarine

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Suffren class submarine

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