Veolia starts deconstructing Redoutable-class nuclear submarines

Naval Group has started deconstruction operations on French Navy’s five first-generation ballistic missile submarines (SSBN) in Cherbourg, France.

Photo: Naval Group

The project was awarded by French defense procurement agency to Naval Group in 2016.

Subsequently, Naval Group has entrusted Veolia with the contract relating to deconstruction and recovery operations on these end-of-life submarines.



The decommissioned Le Redoutable-class submarines were built between 1964 and 1982.

After the SSBN Le Tonnant, the four submarines Le Terrible, Le Foudroyant, L’Indomptable and L’Inflexible will be dismantled.

Recyclable materials from the operation – mainly ferrous and non-ferrous metals – will be sorted and prepared for sale. 87% of these materials can be recycled, according to Veolia.

Each vessel will take 18 months to process.

Described as “an unprecedented project” in France, it continues on from the deconstruction operations on end-of-life ships, the French Navy’s former helicopter cruiser Jeanne d’Arc and the former cruiser Colbert, conducted by Veolia since 2014.