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Naval Group to provide maintenance of the French nuclear attack submarines


According to a press release published by Naval Group on July 19, 2021, the firm and the Fleet Support Service sign a new contract for the operational maintenance of the French Navy’s nuclear attack submarines.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 French submarine Suffren (Picture source: French Ministry of Armed Forces)


Naval Group and the Fleet Support Service have signed a contract for the operational maintenance of the French Navy’s nuclear attack submarines (SSN) which will be in force for over three years and is worth several hundred million euros This agreement includes the maintenance operations of Rubis and Suffren-class SSNs and all the related services: engineering, maintenance of tools and spares, management of the stock of spares, training platforms and maintenance of nuclear installations necessary for the operational maintenance (MCO) of submarines.

The contract came in force early July and brings together all the routine maintenance activities essential to the technical availability of nuclear attack submarines.

This agreement will mobilise several Naval Group’s partners for the supply of strategic equipments (TechnicAtome, Thales, Safran), the local industrial fabric and over five hundred Naval Group employees based in several sites in France.

This contract is part of a transitional phase between the gradual withdrawal from active service of Rubis-class SSNs and the arrival of the new generation Suffren-class SSN. The aim is for Naval Group to carry out maintenance operations on these two types of SSN which have different technologies and requirements. The infrastructures of the Toulon naval base are currently undergoing a modernisation phase to adapt to this generational change in submarines.

Suffren (Q284) is a French nuclear attack submarine. It is the lead ship of the Suffren class, stemming from the Barracuda programme. The vessel was laid down on 19 December 2007 and launched on 1 August 2019 at Cherbourg. It was commissioned on 6 November 2020.

The Suffren is powered by a nuclear propulsion system using a new hybrid design that provides electric propulsion for economical cruise speeds and turbo-mechanical propulsion for higher speeds. the submarine can reach a top speed of 25 knots (46 km/f; 29 mph) with an unlimited range of 10 years. It has a crew of 60 people including 12 officers and 48 sailors.

The armament of the Suffren-class submarine includes four 533mm torpedo tubes and 20 storage racks for various weapons including F21 Artemis heavy torpedoes, Exocet SM.39 Block 2 anti-ship missiles with a range of 50 km, SCALP naval cruise missiles with a range of over 1 000 km, and FG29 mines. Two mines can be carried per weapon rack.