PHOTO: French Navy’s 2nd Suffren-class submarine starts sea trials
French Navy’s second Suffren/Barracuda-class submarine Duguay-Trouin has started sea trials, French shipbuilding company Naval Group revealed.
As informed, the vessel kicked off sea trials on 27 March. The submarine will now go through different trials to test its performance before its delivery, scheduled later this year.
Duguay-Trouin is the second submarine of the Barracuda program, led by the French defense procurement agency (DGA) in partnership with the French Atomic Energy and Alternative Energy Commission (CEA) for the nuclear boilers part.
This program intends to replace the Ruby-class SSNs currently in service within the French Navy.
Naval Group is in charge of the production of these submarines, from their design to their construction, as well as the manufacture of the main components of the nuclear boilers which are developed and produced with TechnicAtome.
The company is also in charge of providing logistical support and maintaining the submarines in Toulon. This series of sea trials follows the divergence of the nuclear reactor which took place in September 2020 and the dock tests carried out since the launch of the submarine in 2021.
The operations successively took place in the assembly hall as well as in the dry and water-filled docks to test equipment and systems. These trials were conducted by joint teams from Naval Group, TechnicAtome and French authorities.
The Suffren/Barracuda type SSN is one of the world’s stealthiest submarines, according to the company. More discreet, with increased autonomy and better capacities, these submarines are also more manoeuvrable and mobile thanks to their latest generation navigation and communication systems, including a centralised and more automated driving.
Another major innovation is the optronic mast, which replaces the telescopic mast, ensuring better visual information collection and sharing among the crew. This new feature, combined with advanced detection capabilities, guarantees the superiority of these SSNs in their intelligence missions.
The Barracuda series is well underway: the remaining four submarines in the program (Tourville, de Grasse, Rubis and Casabianca) are all currently under construction, at different stages of completion, and their deliveries will be staggered until 2030.
To remind, French Navy’s first Suffren-class submarine entered service in June 2022.