Naval Group rolls out third Barracuda class nuclear sub

The Naval Group has rolled out the Tourville, the third Barracuda class nuclear attack submarine (SSN).

On 20 July 2023, the third submarine of the Barracuda class has left its construction hall in order to be transferred to the DME floating platform-type shiplift.

To be noted, it is part of a series of six SSNs that will gradually replace the submarines of the Rubis-class currently in service within the French Navy.

Its rollout is a key step in the program’s progress which will lead to the beginning for its sea trials in 2024.

Prior to this, completion work and initial tests will be carried out at quayside.

About Barracuda class nuclear attack submarine (SSN)

The Barracuda class is a nuclear attack submarine, designed by the French shipbuilder Naval Group for the French Navy.

It is intended to replace the Rubis-class submarines.

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.

Besides, Naval Group is also in charge of providing logistical support and maintaining the submarines in Toulon.

The construction of these submarines began in 2007 and the first unit was commissioned on 6 November 2020.

The Barracuda-class submarines will provide the French Navy with a deep strike capability thanks to MBDA’s naval cruise missiles (NCM).

Further, they are also equipped with the F21 heavyweight torpedo produced by Naval Group and the SM39 anti-ship missile from MBDA.

These SSNs also allow the discreet deployment of Special Forces underwater, in particular thanks to its “divers hatch” and the optional carrying of a dry deck shelter allowing for the deployment of underwater vehicles.

Technical characteristics of the Barracuda SSNs

  • surface displacement: 4,700 tonnes ;
  • diving displacement: 5,200 tonnes ;
  • length: 99 metres ;
  • diameter: 8.8 metres ;
  • armament: naval cruise missiles, F21 heavy-weight wire-guided torpedoes, modernised Exocet SM39 anti-ship missiles ;
  • hybrid propulsion: pressurised water reactor derived from the reactors on board the Triomphant-type SSBN and Charles-de-Gaulle aircraft carrier, two propulsion turbines, two turbo generators and two electric motors ;
  • crew: 63 crew members + commandos ;
  • availability: > 270 days per year.