November 6, 2020 (Google Translation) – Naval Group today delivered the Suffren nuclear attack submarine (SNA) to Toulon. Intended for the French Navy, the Suffren is the first in a series of six ANSs which will gradually replace the Ruby-type ANSs currently in service. The delivery of the Suffren took place today in the presence of a small delegation of senior figures due to the health crisis. The Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly, General François Lecointre, Chief of the Armed Forces, the Delegate General for Armaments Joël Barre, Admiral Pierre Vandier, Chief of the Naval Staff, Victor Salvetti Director Military Applications (DAM) at CEA as well as the Chairman and CEO of Naval Group Pierre Eric Pommellet and Loïc Rocard Chairman and CEO of TechnicAtome, all welcomed this major milestone of the Barracuda program, in the presence of some representatives from the political, industrial and military including members of the crew.
The delivery of the Suffren is a major milestone in the Barracuda program, which engages submarine forces until 2060.
Launched in 1998 by the Directorate General of Armaments, the Barracuda program renews the component of nuclear attack submarines made up of six Ruby-type ANSs put into service from the beginning of the 1980s. The associated development contract has was notified at the end of 2006. More than ten years of studies were necessary to arrive at a definition of the submarine which meets the operational needs of the Navy and whose delivery marks the beginning of a phase leading, ultimately, to the recognition of the qualification.
Delivery of the six submarines will take place over a decade. Knowing that the lifespan of the Suffren-type ANS will be more than 30 years, this program engages submarine forces at least until 2060, making it one of the major weapons systems of this century.
Pierre Eric Pommellet declares: “What a long way for Naval Group and all its industrial and state partners since the cutting of the first sheet on December 19, 2007, less than a year after the signing of the acquisition contract by the DGA. The industrial challenges to be taken up were numerous. I salute the commitment of the design and production teams of Naval Group, TechnicAtome, prime contractor for the on-board nuclear boiler, as well as those of the DGA, CEA and the French Navy. Hundreds of French companies, large and small, foremost among which Naval Group, have mobilized and continue to mobilize for this program. And this first success can only reinforce our collective commitment to meet the delivery of the next unit of the Barracuda program, the Duguay-Trouin in 2022, then the four other submarines by end of the decade.”
The realization of the ANS of the Barracuda program continues at Naval Group, in collaboration with its industrial and technological base partners defense The realization of these submarines mobilizes a multitude of know-how and expertise exceptional even in the most advanced technological fields.
In particular, very special steels and underwater acoustics as well as systems weapons they carry make these submarines some of the most successful in the world. These SNA, with their means of navigation and communication, and their centralized control and automated, are also more maneuverable and mobile. Another major innovation: the mat optronic, which replaces the telescopic mast, thus ensuring better collection visual information and better sharing of it among the crew. This novelty, associated with advanced detection capabilities, guarantees the superiority of these ANS in their intelligence missions.
The submarines of the Barracuda program will also bring to the French Navy a real superiority in combat, thanks to the carriage of naval cruise missiles (MdCN) produced by MBDA, providing it with an underwater strike capability for the first time precision in depth. They also make it possible to implement the new heavy torpedo F21 produced by Naval Group and anti-ship missile SM39 from MBDA. These SNA
are also endowed with increased capacities for the discrete deployment of special forces.
This technological and capacity leap is the result of the collective work of hundreds of partners of the Defense Industrial and Technological Base which collaborate with Naval Group for over twenty years. In total, there are 2,500 women and men (including about 800 hp for over twenty years. In total, 2,500 women and men (including about 800 among subcontractors of Naval Group) who are currently contributing to the production of the series Barracuda.
All Naval Group sites are mobilized for the construction of the next five submarines.
The second SNA in the series, the Duguay-Trouin, which will be assembled by the end of year, will be delivered in 2022. The third, the Tourville, is being integrated alongside the Duguay-Trouin on the Cherbourg site. On the Nantes-Indret Naval Group site, the assembly the propulsion machinery and nuclear boiler module of the fourth, De Grasse, is in Classes. The sections and parts of the nuclear boiler rooms at Rubis, the fifth, and Casabianca, the sixth, are being machined respectively at the Naval Group site in Cherbourg and on the Nantes-Indret Naval Group site.
The infrastructures of the Toulon naval base have been modernized to be able to welcome these next-generation submarines. “We are ready and very proud to maintain the Suffren in Toulon “, underlines Vincent Vimont, Director of the Maintenance in Operational Conditions of ANS at Naval Group.