French attack submarine Suffren begins sea trials:Report

The French Navy’s new nuclear-powered attack submarine Suffren has started first sea trials.

Suffren is the first of six new Barracuda generation of navy boats built by Naval Group to replace the ageing Rubis-class.

The sea trials started on April 28 after the newbuilding left Cherbourg Naval Base, according to an announcement from the French Directorate General of Armament (DGA). They represent a major milestone following the submarine’s launching in July 2019.

As informed, the sea trials — to be conducted in the English Channel, Atlantic and Mediterranean — will last several months and confirm the robustness and efficiency of the submarine before its delivery to the navy.

France expects to introduce all Barracuda submarines – Suffren, Duguay-Trouin, Tourville, Dupetit-Thouars, Duquesne and De Grass – into active service by 2030.

Crewed by 90 sailors, Suffren-class submarines will carry the next-generation type F21 heavyweight torpedoes, SM39 anti-ship missiles and MdCN-type naval cruise missiles. The boats will also be fully equipped for missions with NATO naval forces and special operations.

The new generation of submarines will be able to spend up to 70 days at sea, considerably more than the 45 days achievable by the Rubis-class.

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