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France launches program for third generation of SSBN SNLE 3G submarines for French Navy

According to a press release published on February 19, 2021, Florence Parly, French Minister of the Armed forces, has announced, at the Centre of expertise for Hydrodynamic techniques of the French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA), the launch of the program for the third generation of SSBN nuclear-powered ballistic-missile submarine (SNLE 3G) for the French Navy.


According to a press release published on February 19, 2021, Florence Parly, French Minister of the Armed forces, has announced, at the Centre of expertise for Hydrodynamic techniques of the French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA), the launch of the program for the third generation of SSBN nuclear-powered ballistic-missile submarine (SNLE 3G) for the French Navy.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Artist rendering of the new third-generation SNLE 3G nuclear-powered ballistic-missile submarine SSBN for the French Navy. (Picture source Naval Group)


This submarine program is a major challenge for Naval Group, a leading industry partner in the service of the French sovereignty. The first of class is scheduled to enter operational service by 2035. Three other submarines will then be delivered, every five years.

Pierre-Eric Pommellet, Naval Group CEO, declared on this occasion: "Naval Group is very proud to put its skills, talents and industrial resources at the service of France's nuclear deterrence. The whole company will be mobilized with its partners to carry out this exceptional project. We are aware of our responsibility and we will do our utmost, as previous generations have done, to provide France with the tool of its sovereignty.”

Nuclear-powered ballistic-missile submarines (SSBN) remain one of the most complex industrial products ever made. Their design and construction require rare know-how, unique industrial means and the ability to federate the contributions of two hundred partner companies that make up the French defense industrial base, present across the country.

Naval Group benefits from a unique position as a systems architect and integrator which enables it, in collaboration with TechnicAtome, the prime contractor for the nuclear boiler room, to commit to the overall performance of these armed vessels, to assume overall responsibility for their construction and to guarantee control of quality, deadlines and costs.

The program aims to provide a new generation of four nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines that will serve the French Navy's operational needs between the 2030s and the 2090s.

They will gradually replace the second-generation SSBN that will be phased out of active service during 2030s and 2040s, to be replaced by these third-generation submarines.

The SNLE 3G program is being carried out on behalf of the French government, under the auspices of the DGA and the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), in conjunction with the Armed Forces Staff and the French Navy.