On July 28, 2023, the [French] General Armaments Directorate (DGA) announced the receipt of the Duguay-Trouin, the second of the six Suffren-class nuclear attack submarines (SNA) produced as part of the Barracuda programme. The submarine was delivered to the French Navy in Brest after a trial campaign lasting several months.
Started in March 2023, the sea trials made it possible to check the operation of the various systems and equipment of the submarine. These tests were piloted by the DGA in conjunction with the Commissariat for Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies and in close partnership with the French Navy and the manufacturers, Naval Group and TechnicAtome.
With the arrival of this second submarine, the renewal of the SNA fleet continues, allowing France to strengthen its control of maritime areas and consolidate its status as a major naval power.
After the delivery of the Suffren to the French Navy in November 2020 and that of the Duguay-Trouin, the four other submarines of the Barracuda programme (Tourville, de Grasse, Rubis and Casabianca) are currently at different stages of construction, and their deliveries will be staggered up to 2030, in accordance with the 2024-2030 military programming law.
Enduring and versatile, Suffren-type SNAs are real instruments of power. Their missions are varied: support for deterrence, carrier battle group protection, intelligence gathering, submarine and anti-ship warfare. They are faster, more durable and more versatile than the previous generation SNAs, of the Rubis-class, with their new capabilities for implementing special forces and strikes, thanks to the Naval Cruise Missile (MdCN), targets land located several hundred kilometers away.
After the Duguay-Trouin‘s first dive off Cherbourg at the end of March 2023, state and industrial teams conducted sea trials to test its technical performance and confirm the submarine’s ability to navigate safely.
The submarine thus carried out a series of tests and trials:
- A static dive, that is to say in immersion without propelled movement, to check the submarine stability;
- Surface and diving tests (submarine speed; performance and behavior tests at different depths of immersion; safety and operation of the installations, including its nuclear boiler room);
- Diving tests to verify the functioning of its combat system, including its ability to implement its weapons and to communicate.
They enabled the technical experts from the DGA’s centers of expertise to verify, in a real situation, all the submarine technical capabilities, based on the analysis of the data collected by the DGA’s Naval Techniques measurement means..
The Barracuda programme submarines are equipped with nuclear propulsion, which gives them many advantages. With these performance improvements, Suffren-type SNAs represent a technological leap that allows France to remain in the very restricted club of nations that implement modern and high-performance SNAs.
Unofficial translation by EDR On-Line
Photo courtesy DGA