The nuclear attack submarine Suffren, the future armed wing of the French Navy, begins its sea trials

We have mentioned it in recent days: the renewal of French attack submarines is well underway. On the one hand, the Suffren, the first in a new class of nuclear attack submarines, now floats freely and is currently starting its sea trials. On the other hand, the French Navy received its first new generation heavy torpedoes, which will constitute the main armament of these new buildings.

Together, the Suffren class and the F21 torpedo will allow the replacement of the Rubis nuclear submarine class and the F17 torpedoes, now obsolete in many respects. The opportunity for us to return to the Barracuda program which led to the creation of this new Suffren class.

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The Suffren during its official launching ceremony on July 12, 2019. Since then, the vessel has experienced a nuclear fuel reload, a launch, the divergence of the reactor core and its first buoyancy tests.

Historical overview of the Barracuda program

Since the entry into service of the first nuclear missile launchers (SSBNs) in the 1970s, France has implemented an industrial policy aimed at maintaining the know-how necessary for the design and construction of nuclear submarines, essential for deterrence. To maintain skills over time, it was decided to command a class of nuclear attack submarines (ANS) between each class of SSBN.

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