Naval Group rolls out the Tourville, the third Barracuda class submarine

French shipbuilding company Naval Group rolled out the Tourville, the third Barracuda class submarine.

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.

The nuclear attack submarine (SSN) is part of a fleet of six submarines that will gradually replace the Rubis class currently in service with the French Navy.

Noteworthy, it has been reported that the Barracuda submarine fleet costs around $10 billion, excluding maintenance.

And, the expected lifespan of these submarines is up to 2060.

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.

About Barracuda class submarine

The Barracuda class (or Suffren class) is a nuclear attack submarine, and is intended to replace the Rubis-class submarines.

The construction began in 2007 and the first unit was commissioned on 6 November 2020. The lead boat of the class, Suffren, entered service on 3 June 2022.

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.

This technological and capability leap is the result of more than twenty years of collective work between Naval Group and hundreds of partners of the defence industrial and technological base.

A total of 2,500 men and women (including around 800 from Naval Group subcontractors) are contributing to the design and production of the Barracuda submarines.

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.