The fifth French ‘Barracuda’ officially ordered
On 27 February, MONCh published an update of Naval Group’s ongoing programmes (here) and mentioned that the fifth ‘Barracuda’ class submarine for the French Marine Nationale had been ordered. This was confirmed by the French Armed Forces Minister on 7 May.
The fifth ‘Barracuda’ class submarine, to be named Rubis, will be 99.5m long and have a submerged displacement of 5,300 tonnes. The class’ nuclear propulsion system, an elaborated version of the type K15 (50megawatt) reactor developed for the four ‘Triumphant’ class ballistic missile submarines and the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier, contributes to making the submarines stealthier, faster (25kts submerged) and capable of more endurance compared to the ‘Rubis’ class submarines they will replace.
The ‘Barracuda’ class submarines will be fitted with a new combat management system and last generation sonars. They will also be equipped with the new F21 heavyweight torpedo, the anti-ship missile Exocet SM39 Block2 Mod2 and the Naval Cruise Missile, which will give them the ability to hit ground targets from thousands of kilometres away. A total of 20 weapons can be fitted onboard, including FG29 mines.
Finally, the new submarine class will be able to carry a Dry Deck Shelter to accommodate a variety of materiel, including the third generation underwater propeller for French special forces (Commandos Marine) – as much as ten special forces crew will be able to come onboard the Marine Nationale’s future submarines.