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Technical review & inside Suffren Barracuda Class nuclear attack submarine French navy


“Suffren” Barracuda Class is the brand new submarine-launched ballistic missile asset of the French navy. On 10 July, Navy Recognition announced its inauguration. Now, a few features given by the French Company Naval Group deserve to be mentioned.


Suffren a few figures about the newest SLBM submarine of the French navy Suffren, the newest French navy SLBM submarine (Picture source: Naval Group)


Suffren is the first submarine of the Barracuda programme. It’s 100 meters long and weighs 5,200 tons. It’s one of the most complex industrial products. A car is made of some 5,000 parts, a main battle tank 15,000, a Boeing Triple 7 100,000, the “Suffren” nearly 1 million. More than 160 km of wires, 20 km of hoses, 15,000 connections, 17,000 hose sections, 20 millions lines of program code, a nuclear engine system, 70,000 connected pieces of equipment, and a complex system assembly enabling the performance of the missions.

The “Suffren” is operated by a 60-people crew. New operational capabilities are integrated. Special forces can be taken onboard and deployed in any environment, in total discretion. Its X-shaped rudder considerably improves its maneuverability.

Its steam-electric hybrid propulsion enables the submarine to silently operate during exceptionally long periods of time. Everything has been designed to reinforce its acoustic discretion. Its detectability is this of SLBM submarines.

The “Suffren” can be deployed twice longer than its predecessors, it’s twice faster, and it transports twice more weapons, namely very-long-range MDCM SCALP naval cruise missiles and F21 Artemis heavy torpedoes.