On July 12, 2019 in Cherbourg, President Emmanuel Macron inaugurated the Suffren, first Barracuda-class submarine

Barracudas have long teeth and the Rubis know it well. Le Suffren, the SNA (nuclear attack submarine), a new generation of the Barracuda class, is a hunter sized for combat. It will replace its Rubis ancestors which have served valiantly since the 80s: Le Saphir has just returned to its home port of Cherbourg to be dismantled.


A steel monster of 5300 tons

Naval Group has called upon 150 companies in the Manche department to build the Suffren, the first of a series of 6 submarines that will serve until 2060. This beautiful 99 meter (325 feet) long baby, able to remain 70 days under water, costs a billion euros. A jewel of technology 10 times quieter than the Rubis series, which could make a big difference for the French Navy.


Protector and defender

Its mission is to protect valuable vessels such as aircraft carriers and missile-carrying submarines (SSBNs), track down enemy submarines and collect intelligence. As discreet as a shoal of shrimp, it will give tinnitus to all enemy expert ears! With its removable bridge shed inside which an underwater engine for combat swimmers is embarked, it will also be responsible for firing cruise missiles with a range of hundreds of kilometers against targets on land and the deployment of terrestrial armed forces.


Even more fearsome than more Terrible

General de Gaulle inaugurated Le Redoutable (fearsome) in 1967. Nicolas Sarkozy launched Le Terrible in 2008. In 2019, Le Suffren, whose name is less scary, is nonetheless armed to the teeth: naval cruise missiles, Exocet anti-ship missiles and heavy torpedoes. It is also less vulnerable: without a periscope (which forced the submarine to rise to the surface), cameras placed at the top of a mast transmit information while keeping it under cover.


More than 450 submarines in the world

In a context of worldwide increase in the number of submarines, the Barracudas are extremely attractive and their operational capacities are exceptional, assures Hervé Guillou, CEO of Naval Group: "It ranks us in the first division worldwide". For 12 years, 800 companies and 10,000 people who participated in its construction are proud to help in keeping France great. And although the construction is three years behind schedule, we are still 30% cheaper than our European partners.


Its delivery to the Navy in Toulon is planned before summer 2020.

Photo: Thomas Bregardis-Ouest France-Royalty-free


Related reading:

- Le Saphir, French nuclear submarine, will be dismantled in Cherbourg

- Cherbourg leads the Normandy region in the Le Point special edition ranking of the most attractive cities in France

- In spring 2019, Cherbourg's Cité de la Mer invites us to dive into its new space, the Ocean of the future


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1 - 16/07/2019