Final test phase begins for Suffren
The first Barracuda-class nuclear attack submarine (SSN) was handed over on 6 November in Toulon, to begin its final phase of testing with the French Navy.
This follows the completion of sea trials, which began earlier this year. Suffren was assessed for watertightness and underwater manoeuvrability, the performance of the combat management system, tactical weapons and other high-tech equipment.
Each Barracuda-class submarine has a diving displacement of 5,200t and is powered by a hybrid propulsion system including two turbines and two electric motors. Weaponry includes Scalp Naval land attack cruise missiles, F21 heavyweight wire-guided torpedoes, modernised SM39 Exocet anti-ship missiles and FG29 mines.
French defence procurement agency DGA noted that the second of six Barracuda-class boats will be delivered in 2022 and the final submarine is scheduled to be commissioned in 2030.
However, Shephard Defence Insight notes that the programme had experienced significant delays relating to the development of a new nuclear reactor.
The unit cost is now thought to exceed $2 billion each.
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