Milestone: Duguay-Trouin sub started its nuclear boiler room
PARIS ($1=1.02 Euros) — The second French Barracuda-class submarine, Duguay-Trouin, successfully started its nuclear boiler room on October 3rd. This was reported by the French Directorate General of Armaments [DGA]. The DGA defines this event as the cornerstone of the entire Barracuda project.
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“A new milestone for the Barracuda program, piloted by the DGA for the benefit of the French Navy, with the start-up of the nuclear boiler room of the Duguay-Trouin, the 2nd submarine in the series, currently being completed and tested in Cherbourg,” DGA said.
The start-up of the nuclear boiler room, called “divergence”, consists in triggering for the first time a controlled nuclear reaction in the heart of the ship’s nuclear propulsion reactor. This stage will be followed by sea trials of the SNA before its delivery in 2023.
The nuclear propulsion of the SNA Barracuda gives them a remarkable radius of action and discretion. More versatile than previous generation SNAs, they can deploy special forces and strike land targets several hundred km away.
The nuclear boiler room for the Barracuda program submarines was developed under the project management of the French Atomic Energy Commission, which relies on Technic Atome and the Naval Group.
According to the plans of the French Ministry of Defense, France will receive six Barracuda-class submarines by 2030. In addition to the Duguay-Trouin and the already commissioned Suffren submarine, France expects the De Grasse, Tourville, Rubis, and Casabianca submarines in the coming years.
Barracuda class submarines
Multipurpose nuclear submarines of the Barracuda class should replace the Rubis class submarines built in the 1980s as part of the French Navy. In 2006, the French government signed a contract with DCNS [now the Naval Group] to supply the national fleet with six nuclear submarines. The cost of the agreement was estimated at 8 billion euros.
Suffren was laid down in December 2007 and planned to be commissioned in 2016, but due to various problems, the construction dates had to be reviewed several times. In early August 2019, the Suffren was launched, and in December a nuclear reactor was launched on board the submarine.
Data and armament
The submarine displacement of the Barracuda-type submarines is 5300 tons [surface – 4700 tons], hull length – 99 meters, diameter – 8.8 meters. The maximum immersion depth is more than 350 meters, and the speed underwater is more than 25 knots. Autonomy – 50 days. The crew is 65 people. Also on board can accommodate up to 15 MTR fighters.
The Suffren submarine is equipped with four 533-mm vehicles for heavy-duty F21 torpedoes. The arsenal includes the upgraded SM-39 Exocet anti-ship missiles and Scalp Naval cruise missiles to destroy coastal infrastructure.
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