French Barracuda-class submarine
The Barracuda class (or Suffren class) is a new nuclear attack submarine, designed by the French shipbuilder Naval Group, formerly known as DCNS and DCN, for the French Navy, replacing the Rubis-class submarines. Construction began in 2007 and the first unit will be commissioned in 2019.
Profile of the Barracuda-class submarine.
|Builders:||Naval Group (formerly known as DCNS and DCN)|
|Preceded by:||Rubis class|
|In commission:||2018, planned (originally 2017)|
|Type:||Nuclear attack submarine|
|Length:||99.5 m (326 ft)|
|Beam:||8.8 m (29 ft)|
|Draught:||7.3 m (24 ft)|
|Range:||Unlimited range, 10 years (nuclear fuel)|
|Endurance:||70 days of food |
|Sensors and |
Barracudas will use technology from the Triomphant class, including pump-jet propulsion. This class reportedly produces approximately 1/1000 of the detectable noise of the Redoutable-class boats (submarines), and they are ten times more sensitive in detecting other submarines. They will be fitted with torpedo-tube-launched cruise missiles MDCN SCALP Naval for long-range (well above 1,000 km, 620 mi) strikes against strategic land targets. Their missions will include anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare, land attack, intelligence gathering, crisis management and special operations.
In October 1998, the Delegation Générale pour l'Armement, the French government's defense procurement agency, established an integrated project team consisting of the Naval Staff, DCN (now known as Naval Group), Technicatome and the Commissariat a l'Énergie Atomique, a regulatory body that oversees nuclear power plants, to oversee the design of a new attack submarine class. DCN was to be the boat's designer and builder while Technicatome, since absorbed Areva company, was to be responsible for the nuclear power plant. The two companies were to act jointly as a single prime contractor to share the industrial risks, manage the schedules, and be responsible for the design's performance and costs, which at the time was estimated to be US$4.9 billion.
According to the contract signed in December 2006, the first boat was to commence sea trials in early 2016, with delivery occurring in late 2016/early 2017. This was to be followed by entry into service in late 2017.
Naval Group also designed a conventionally powered derivative, dubbed the SMX-Ocean, featuring fuel-cells and vertical launchers.
In 2016, Naval Group also began to position itself and its Suffren/SMX Ocean design in the Royal Canadian Navy's Future Canadian Submarines project. The project is planned to replace the Victoria-class submarines by 2030.
The Barracuda class nuclear reactor incorporates several improvements over that of the preceding Rubis. Notably, it extends the time between refuelling and complex overhauls (RCOHs) from 7 to 10 years, enabling higher at-sea availability.
On 22 December 2006, the French government placed a €7.9 billion order for six Barracuda submarines with Naval Group and their nuclear powerplants with Areva-Technicatome. According to the DGA “Competition at the subcontractor level will be open to foreign companies for the first time.”
|Pennant no.||Name||Laid down||Launched||Commissioned||Homeport|
|Suffren||19 December 2007||Expected in 2019||Expected in 2019||Toulon|
|Duguay-Trouin||26 June 2009||Expected in 2020||Toulon|
|Tourville||28 June 2011||Expected in 2022||Toulon|
|De Grasse||Expected in 2025||Toulon|
|Rubis||Expected in 2027||Toulon|
|Casabianca||Expected in 2029||Toulon|
Shortfin Barracuda conventional variantEdit
Profile of the Shortfin Barracuda conventional variant.
|Name:||Shortfin Barracuda Block 1A|
|Builders:||Naval Group (formerly known as DCNS and DCN)|
|Operators:||Royal Australian Navy|
|Preceded by:||Collins class|
|In commission:||Approx. 2030–2070 (planned)|
|Type:||Diesel-electric attack submarine|
|Displacement:||over 4,000 t submerged|
|Length:||97 m (318 ft)|
|Endurance:||90 days submerged|
60 crew12 clearance divers
8 x 533mm torpedo tubesPayload: 28 torpedoes mix of: Mk 48 torpedoes, Harpoon anti-ship missiles or Mk III Stonefish mines
Naval Group submitted a conventionally powered diesel-electric variation to the design – named the Shortfin Barracuda Block 1A – to the competitive evaluation process (CEP) phase of Australia's Collins-class submarine replacement. "While exact details remain confidential, DCNS can confirm the Shortfin Barracuda is over 90 metres in length and displaces more than 4,000 tons when dived," said Sean Costello, CEO of Naval Group Australia. Naval Group was chosen by the Australian Government on 26 April 2016 to build twelve of the Shortfin Barracuda Block 1A variant at a projected AU$ 50 billion (US$ 38.5 billion). Much of the works will be undertaken at ASC Pty Ltd in Adelaide, South Australia. Construction is expected to begin in 2020 or 2021.
The class will be known as the Attack-class submarine with the first vessel named HMAS Attack.
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