Naval Group Displays France’s Second Barracuda Class Nuclear Sub

French shipbuilding company Naval Group rolled out the new Duguay-Trouin S636 nuclear-powered attack submarine from its Cherbourg dockyard on Friday, local media reported.

The 4,500-ton Duguay-Trouin S636, the second of its Barracuda (or Suffren) Class submersibles destined for the French Navy by the end of 2022, can fire MdCN land-attack cruise missiles.

Known as easy to deploy, mobile, and versatile, the company said that one of the Barracuda Class submarines’ missions is to support and protect the nuclear ballistic missile submarines of France’s Strategic Oceanic Force.

Kicked off by Naval Group CEO Pierre-Eric Pommellet, the Duguay-Trouin was transferred out of the construction hall via 24 walkers to an area where it will undergo final outfitting work. It will be launched in late December or early 2022.

Barracuda Class Submarines

Last November, the French Navy received the first of its Barracuda Class nuclear assault submarines from Naval Group as a replacement for the Cold War-era Rubis-class submarines.

Slated for deployment in late 2021, a total of six of the new subs will “form the backbone” of the French Navy’s sub fleet. Several improved characteristics of the new vessel, such as an improved pump-jet propulsion system, are taken from the country’s Triomphant-class nuclear ballistic missiles.

The submarine is equipped with two propulsion turbines, two turbine generators, and two electric motors. It also features a hybrid propulsion system along with a pressurized water reactor that is a direct legacy of the Le Triomphant-class submarines and Charles-de-Gaulle aircraft carriers.

Known as “extremely stealthy” and “low profile,” the Barracuda Class vessels have a displacement of 5,300 tons and a length of 99.5 meters (326 feet). Said to possess “10 times the detection capabilities” of its Rubis-class predecessor, the vessel features a laser rangefinder, high-definition camera, and integrated sensor system instead of the standard periscope mast.

The overall budget of the six-submarine Barracuda submarine program is said to be approximately $10.2 billion.


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