On July 28, 2023, the Direction générale de l’armement (DGA) announced the receipt of the Duguay-Trouin, the second of six Suffren-class nuclear attack submarines (SNA) built as part of the Barracuda program. The submarine was delivered to the French Navy in Brest after a multi-month test campaign.

Started in March 2023, the sea trials made it possible to verify the operation of the various systems and equipment of the submarine. These tests were led by the DGA in conjunction with the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission and in close partnership with the French Navy and industrialists, Naval Group and TechnicAtome.

After the first dive of the Duguay-Trouin off Cherbourg at the end of March 2023, state and industrial teams conducted sea trials to test its technical performance and confirm the submarine’s ability to navigate safely.

The submarine has carried out a series of tests and trials:

    • A static dive, i.e. in immersion without propelled movement, to check the stability of the submarine;
    • Surface and diving tests (speed of the submarine; tests of its performance and behavior at different depths of immersion; safety and operation of the installations, including its nuclear boiler room);
    • Diving tests to verify the operation of its combat system, including its ability to implement its weapons and communicate.

They allowed the technical experts of the DGA’s centres of expertise to verify, in real situations, all the technical capabilities of the submarine, based on the analysis of data collected by the measurement means of DGA Naval Techniques.

Enduring and versatile

With the arrival of this second submarine, the renewal of the SNA fleet continues, allowing the France to strengthen its control of maritime spaces and consolidate its status as a great naval power. Enduring and versatile, Suffren-type SNAs are real instruments of power.

Their missions are varied: deterrence support, protection of the carrier strike group, intelligence gathering, submarine and anti-ship warfare. They are faster, more durable and more versatile than the previous generation of SNAs, of the Rubis type, with their new capabilities for implementing special forces and hitting, thanks to the Naval Cruise Missile (MdCN), land targets located several hundred kilometers away.

4 other submarines are under construction

After the delivery of the Suffren to the French Navy in November 2020 and that of the Duguay-Trouin, the other four submarines of the Barracuda program (Tourville, de Grasse, Rubis and Casabianca) are currently in different stages of construction, and their deliveries will be spread out until 2030, in accordance with the 2024-2030 Military Programming Law.

Nuclear propulsion

The submarines of the Barracuda program are equipped with nuclear propulsion that gives them many advantages. With these performance improvements, Suffren-type SNAs represent a technological leap that allows the France to remain in the very limited club of nations that implement modern and efficient ANS.