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France advances SSBN and SSN projects

5th October 2023 - 07:33 GMT | by Tim Fish in Auckland

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An artist's impression of the SNLE 3G-class design, which will replace the second-generation Triomphant-class through to the 2040s. The Triomphant-class replaced the first-generation Redoubtable-class SSBNs from 1997–2010. (Image source: Naval Group)

France has advanced its main programmes for new ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) and nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSNs).

Construction on the first new SSBN to be built under the Sous-Marin Nucléaire Lanceur d'Engins de Troisieme Génération (SNLE 3G) project will start by the end of 2023, according to a spokesperson from Naval Group, France’s main naval shipbuilding company. 

The SNLE 3G programme was launched on 19 February 2021 to provide a class of four new SSBNs to replace the French Navy’s existing Triomphant-class SSBNs and modernise France’s sea-based nuclear deterrent.

Naval Group and TechnicAtome have been joint prime contractors working on the submarine design, construction and systems integration, and a new K22 pressurised water reactor. Under a contract awarded in 2021

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Tim Fish

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Tim Fish


Tim Fish is a special correspondent for Shephard Media. Formerly the editor of Land Warfare …

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