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Barracuda-class submarine (France)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Suffren class
Suffren class SSN.svg
Suffren-class profile
Class overview
Name: Barracuda class
Builders: Naval Group (formerly known as DCNS and DCN)
Operators:  French Navy
Preceded by:  Rubis class
  • 10.42 billion (2014)[1] for 6 units
  • 1.32 billion (2014)[1] per unit (sailaway cost)
Built: Since 2007
In commission: From 2020[2] (originally planned for 2017)
Planned: 6
Building: 5
Completed: 1
General characteristics
Type: Nuclear attack submarine
  • 4,765 t surfaced
  • 5,300 t submerged
Length: 99.5 m (326 ft)
Beam: 8.8 m (29 ft)
Draught: 7.3 m (24 ft)
  • 2 x Turbo-generator groups: 10 MW (13,000 hp) each
  • Nuclear reactor K15, 150 MW (200,000 hp)
  • 2 x emergency diesel generators 480 kW (640 hp) each
  • 1 x pump-jet electrically driven
  • Over 25 kn (46 km/h; 29 mph)
  • 14 kn (26 km/h; 16 mph), surfaced
Range: Unlimited range, 10 years (nuclear fuel)
Endurance: 70 days of food [3]
Test depth: >350 m (1,150 ft)[4]
  • 12 officers
  • 48 petty officers
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • Hull and flank sonar Thales UMS-3000
  • Velox-M8

The Barracuda class (or Suffren class) is a nuclear attack submarine, designed by the French shipbuilder Naval Group (formerly known as DCNS and DCN) for the French Navy. It is intended to replace the  Rubis-class submarines. Construction began in 2007 and the first unit was commissioned on 6 November 2020.[2] Full operational capability is not anticipated until 2021.[7]



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.[8] DCN was to be the boat's designer and builder while Technicatome (since acquired by Areva) 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.[8]

On 22 December 2006, the French government placed a 7.9 billion order for six Barracuda submarines with Naval Group and their nuclear power plants with Areva-Technicatome.[9] According to the DGA “Competition at the subcontractor level will be open to foreign companies for the first time.”[10] According to the contract, 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.[11]

Conventionally-powered variants

DCNS/Naval Group has also put forward diesel-electric variants of the Barracuda, for several other navies.

One conventionally-powered concept, dubbed the SMX-Ocean, features fuel cells and vertical launchers.[12] This variant has been offered to the Indian Navy.

In 2016, another variant, known within Naval Group as the Shortfin Barracuda – with a diesel-electric powerplant and scaled-down missile capabilities – was offered to both the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and Royal Canadian Navy (RCN). That same year, the Shortfin Barracuda was selected by the Australian government, for a major expansion of the RAN submarine fleet during the 2030s. A total of 12 vessels are to enter service with the RAN from 2032, augmenting and replacing six  Collins-class vessels.[13] The "Future Canadian Submarines" project aims to replace the RCN's  Victoria-class submarines by 2030,[14] However, the Shortfin Barracuda was unsuccessful in gaining selection for the RCN and no order was placed by the Canadian government.

Naval Group is also offering a subvariant of the Shortfin diesel-electric design, as a replacement for the current  Walrus-class submarines of the Royal Netherlands Navy, competing against the A26 design put forward by Saab and Damen.


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.[15] 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.

The Barracuda class nuclear reactor incorporates several improvements over that of the preceding Rubis. Notably, it extends the time between refueling and complex overhauls (RCOHs) from 7 to 10 years, enabling higher at-sea availability.

In support of special operations missions, Barracudas may also accommodate up to 15 commandos, while carrying their equipment in a mobile pod attached aft of the sail.[3]


Designed by Naval Group and TechnicAtome, this class has the following capabilities:

  • SYCOBS combat system with :
  • Sensors
    Hull and flank sonar arrays Thales UMS-3000
    Towed sonar array unknown - VLF
    Mine and obstacle avoidance Thales SEACLEAR
    Active sonar warning receiver Thales VELOX-M8
    Navigation Sonar Thales NUSS-2F Mk2
    Attack photonics mast Sagem Série 30 AOM
    Surveillance photonics mast Sagem Série 30 SOM
  • Weapons
    4 tubes + 20 weapon racks with a mix of :
    F21 Artémis heavyweight wire-guided torpedo
    MdCN land attack cruise missile
    Exocet SM39 mod2 anti-ship missile
    FG29 acoustic mine
    D-19 UUV
    A3SM (VL MICA NG) surface-to-air missile
  • Thales PARTNER communication system with :
    • Thales DIVESAT communications mast with SYRACUSE satellite link.
    • L11, L22 and L16 data-links
    • Thales TUUM-5 Mk2 underwater telephone and emergency beacon
  • NEMESIS countermeasure system (based on CONTRALTO) from Naval Group which applies a "confusion / dilution" principle and combines evasive maneuvers with the deployment of Canto-S decoys.
  • Nuclear-electric propulsion (NEP) where the screw is turned by an electric motor and not a steam turbine with reduction gearing like most other submarines. This is quieter and allows integration of batteries to further quieting.
    • TechnicAtome K15 150 MW reactor.
    • 2x 10MW turbo-generator groups.
    • Large batteries that allow the submarine to run at minimum reactor power for several days in near perfect quiet.
    • 2x SEMPT Pielstick 480 kW each emergency diesel generators.
  • Large endurance :
    • Ten years of nuclear fuel.
    • 70 days of food.
  • Removable dry dock for PSM3G six-seat special-forces submarine and room.


Pennant no. Name Laid down Launched Commissioned Full Operating Capability Homeport
Q284 Suffren 19 December 2007 12 July 2019[16] 6 November 2020[2] Expected in 2021 Toulon
TBC Duguay-Trouin 26 June 2009 Expected by 2021 Expected by 2022[17] Expected by 2023 Toulon
TBC Tourville 28 June 2011 Expected by 2022 Expected 2024[18] Expected by 2024/25 Toulon
TBC De Grasse[19][17] 2015 Expected by 2024 Expected by 2026[18] Expected by 2026/27 Toulon
TBC Rubis[19][17] 2019 Expected by 2026 Expected by 2028[18] Expected by 2028/29 Toulon
TBC Casabianca[19][17][20] Expected by 2028 Expected by 2030[18] Expected by 2030/31 Toulon

Shortfin Barracuda conventional variant

Shortfin Barracuda Block 1A (Attack-class submarine)
Shortfin Barracuda.svg
Profile of the Shortfin Barracuda conventional variant.
Class overview
Name: Shortfin Barracuda Block 1A
Builders: Naval Group (formerly known as DCNS and DCN)
Operators:  Royal Australian Navy
Preceded by:  Collins class
Cost: A$89.7 billion (2020)[21][22] for 12 units + ToT (est.) (54.2 billion)
In commission: Approx. 2030–2070 (planned)
Planned: 12
Building: 0
Completed: 0
General characteristics
Type: Diesel-electric attack submarine
Displacement: over 4,000 t submerged
Length: 97 m (318 ft 3 in)
  • 1 x 7 MW (9,400 hp) permanent magnet motor
  • 4 x diesel alternators
Range: 18,000 nmi (33,000 km; 21,000 mi)
Endurance: 90 days submerged

60 crew

12 clearance divers
  • 8 x 533 mm (21 in) torpedo tubes
  • Payload: 28 torpedoes mix of: Mk 48 torpedoes, Harpoon anti-ship missiles, A3SM (MICA) anti-air missiles or Mk III Stonefish mines

Naval Group submitted a conventionally powered diesel-electric variation to the design – named the Shortfin Barracuda Block 1A, a derivative of the SMX Ocean concept – 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 (300 ft) in length and displaces more than 4,000 tons when dived," said Sean Costello, CEO of Naval Group Australia.[23] 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$35.8 billion). Much of the works will be undertaken at ASC Pty Ltd in Adelaide, South Australia.[24][25] Construction is expected to begin in 2023.[26]

The class will be known as the  Attack-class submarine with the first vessel named HMAS Attack.

See also


  1. ^ a b "Projet de loi de finances pour 2015 : Défense : équipement des forces" (in French). Senate of France. 20 November 2014. Retrieved 9 January 2020.
  2. ^ a b c "New Suffren Barracuda-class nuclear-powered attack submarine officially commissioned by French Navy". 6 November 2020. Retrieved 6 November 2020.
  3. ^ a b "France's Future SSNs: The Barracuda Class". Defense Industry Daily. 28 October 2014. Retrieved 22 November 2014.
  4. ^ "SSN Barracuda Nuclear Powered Attack Submarine - Naval Technology". Retrieved 9 May 2021.
  5. ^ "Nouvelle génération de torpille lourde pour la Marine nationale : la F21" (PDF). Naval Group. October 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 November 2008. Retrieved 20 May 2010.
  6. ^ Vavasseur, Xavier (8 February 2015). "Exclusive Interview With The French Navy On The Barracuda SSN Program". Retrieved 1 July 2015.
  7. ^ Vavasseur, Xavier (22 October 2020). "Euronaval: France to Repair Fire-Damaged SSN Perle with forward Section of SSN Saphir".
  8. ^ a b Preston, Antony (1 October 2002). "France unveils plans for new barracuda SSNs". Sea Power. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 18 May 2015 – via HighBeam Research.
  9. ^ "France orders six 'Barracuda' class nuclear-driven submarines". Agence France Presse. 22 December 2006.
  10. ^ "Navy League of the United States - Citizens in Support of the Sea Services". Archived from the original on 30 March 2006.
  11. ^ "Les noms des futurs sous-marins nucléaires français dévoilés". Mer et Marine. 28 May 2007. Retrieved 29 April 2016.
  12. ^ "SMX® Ocean Conventionally Powered Attack Submarine, France". Retrieved 16 September 2015.
  13. ^ Scott, Jason; Whitley, Angus. "France's DCNS Wins $39 Billion Australian Submarine Contract". Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved 26 April 2016.
  14. ^ "DCNS : La nouvelle FREMM ER dévoilée à Ottawa". 27 May 2016. Retrieved 18 February 2017.
  15. ^ "SNLE-NG Le Triomphant". Archived from the original on 21 May 2014. Retrieved 22 November 2014.
  16. ^ "France launches first Barracuda SSN". Archived from the original on 12 July 2019. Retrieved 12 July 2019.
  17. ^ a b c d "Analysis: Naval Group Suffren Barracuda-class new nuclear-powered attack submarine for the French Navy". 7 November 2020. Retrieved 27 February 2021.
  18. ^ a b c d "Marine nationale : les programmes qui vont façonner la future flotte française" [French Navy: the programs that will shape the future French fleet]. Mer et Marine (in French). 1 February 2021. Retrieved 11 May 2021.
  19. ^ a b c "Programme Barracuda : mer en vue pour le Suffren" [Barracuda Program: Sea in sight for the Suffren] (in French). Ministry of Defence of France. 23 July 2013. Retrieved 13 August 2015.
  20. ^ Groizeleau, Vincent (10 February 2020). "Sous-marins : une troisième génération de Casabianca en construction" [Submarines: a third generation of Casabianca under construction]. Mer et Marine (in French). Retrieved 11 May 2021.
  21. ^ Staff, Reuters (11 February 2019). "Australia signs $50 billion submarine contract with France after two-year squabble". Reuters – via
  22. ^ "Australia to spend $90B for 12 Attack-class Submarines".
  23. ^ "DCNS unveils Shortfin Barracuda" (Press release). Naval Group. 15 July 2015. Archived from the original on 29 October 2015. Retrieved 20 October 2015.
  24. ^ "France wins $50b contract to help build Australia's new submarines" (Press release). Retrieved 26 April 2016.
  25. ^ Starick, Paul (26 April 2016). "$50bn Future Submarines to be built at Osborne in Adelaide by French firm Naval Group". The Advertiser. Retrieved 26 April 2016.
  26. ^ "Australia And Naval Group Ink Agreement On Attack-Class Submarine Program". Naval News. 23 March 2021. Retrieved 8 April 2021.

External links

This page was last edited on 17 June 2021, at 03:59
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