On July 20, 2023, Naval Group, the renowned French shipbuilding company, achieved a significant milestone as it unveiled the third submarine of the Barracuda class. This event marks a crucial step in the modernization of the French Navy, as the Barracuda-class submarines are set to gradually replace the Rubis-class submarines currently in service. The rollout of this submarine signifies progress in the program, leading to sea trials scheduled for 2024. With advanced capabilities and cutting-edge technology, the Barracuda-class submarines will provide the French Navy with enhanced defense capabilities and reinforce France’s position as a maritime power.

The Rubis-class submarines, which the Barracuda-class submarines will replace, have been in service with the French Navy since the 1980s. While these six aging SSNs (nuclear-powered attack submarines) have served the French Navy well, they are due for technology and capabilities updates.

Barracuda-class Submarines: Key Developments

The Barracuda-class submarines, a series of six SSNs, are being produced by Naval Group, responsible for their design, construction, and manufacture of the main components of the nuclear boilers in collaboration with TechnicAtome. The rollout of the third submarine is a significant milestone for the Naval Group and its partners, including TechnicAtome and the CEA (French Atomic Energy and Alternative Energy Commission). Pierre Eric Pommellet, CEO of Naval Group, expressed pride in leading this major program on behalf of the DGA and the French Navy, emphasizing the project’s significance as it provides France with an unrivaled defense tool.

This event highlights the commitment of all those involved in the program’s success and underscores the importance of French industry in serving the armed forces.

Technological Advancements and Capabilities

The Barracuda-class submarines are equipped with advanced features and capabilities that significantly enhance the French Navy’s operational capabilities. With a deep strike capability, these submarines can deploy MBDA’s naval cruise missiles (NCM) and are armed with F21 heavyweight torpedoes produced by Naval Group, as well as the SM39 anti-ship missiles from MBDA. The Barracuda-class submarines also enable the discreet deployment of Special Forces underwater, thanks to features such as the “divers hatch” and the optional carrying of a dry deck shelter, facilitating the deployment of underwater vehicles.