Barracuda-class submarine (France)

The Barracuda class (or Suffren class) is a nuclear attack submarine, designed by the French shipbuilder Naval Group (formerly known as DCNS and DCN) for the French Navy. It is intended to replace the Rubis-class submarines. Construction began in 2007 and the first unit will be commissioned in 2020.[5]

Barracuda class
Profile of the Barracuda-class submarine.
Class overview
Name: Barracuda class
Builders: Naval Group (formerly known as DCNS and DCN)
Operators:  French Navy
Preceded by: Rubis class
  • €9.9bn[1] (FY2013) for six units
  • €1,300m[1] (FY2013) per unit
Built: Since 2007
In commission: 2020, planned (originally 2017)
Planned: 6
Building: 2
Completed: 1
General characteristics
Type: Nuclear attack submarine
  • 4,765 t surfaced
  • 5,300 t submerged
Length: 99.5 m (326 ft)
Beam: 8.8 m (29 ft)
Draught: 7.3 m (24 ft)
  • 2 x turboreductors groups: 10 MW (13,000 hp) propulsion alternator feeding electric engines
  • Nuclear reactor K15, 150 MW (200,000 hp)
  • 2 x emergency electric engines
  • 1 x pump-jet
  • Over 25 kn (46 km/h; 29 mph)
  • 14 kn (26 km/h; 16 mph), surfaced
Range: Unlimited range, 10 years (nuclear fuel)
Endurance: 70 days of food [2]
  • 12 officers
  • 48 petty officers
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • Hull and flank sonar Thales UMS-3000
  • Velox-M8


In October 1998, the Delegation Générale pour l'Armement, the French government's defense procurement agency, established an integrated project team consisting of the Naval Staff, DCN (now known as Naval Group), Technicatome and the Commissariat a l'Énergie Atomique, a regulatory body that oversees nuclear power plants, to oversee the design of a new attack submarine class.[6] DCN was to be the boat's designer and builder while Technicatome (since acquired by Areva) was to be responsible for the nuclear power plant. The two companies were to act jointly as a single prime contractor to share the industrial risks, manage the schedules, and be responsible for the design's performance and costs, which at the time was estimated to be US$4.9 billion.[6]

On 22 December 2006, the French government placed a 7.9 billion order for six Barracuda submarines with Naval Group and their nuclear power plants with Areva-Technicatome.[7] According to the DGA “Competition at the subcontractor level will be open to foreign companies for the first time.”[8] According to the contract, the first boat was to commence sea trials in early 2016, with delivery occurring in late 2016/early 2017. This was to be followed by entry into service in late 2017.[9]

Naval Group also designed a conventionally powered derivative, dubbed the SMX-Ocean, featuring fuel cells and vertical launchers.[10] Another conventionally powered design, the Shortfin Barracuda, was selected as a future replacement for the Collins-class vessels with the Royal Australian Navy.[11]

In 2016, Naval Group also began to position itself and its Shortfin Barracuda design to the Royal Canadian Navy's Future Canadian Submarines project. The project is planned to replace the Victoria-class submarines by 2030.[12]

Naval Group is also offering a version of the "Shortfin" diesel-electric variant as replacement for the current Walrus-class submarines of the Royal Netherlands Navy competing against the A26 design by Saab and Damen[13]


Barracudas will use technology from the Triomphant class, including pump-jet propulsion. This class reportedly produces approximately 1/1000 of the detectable noise of the Redoutable-class boats (submarines), and they are ten times more sensitive in detecting other submarines.[14] They will be fitted with torpedo-tube-launched cruise missiles MDCN SCALP Naval for long-range (well above 1,000 km, 620 mi) strikes against strategic land targets. Their missions will include anti-surface and anti-submarine warfare, land attack, intelligence gathering, crisis management and special operations.

The Barracuda class nuclear reactor incorporates several improvements over that of the preceding Rubis. Notably, it extends the time between refueling and complex overhauls (RCOHs) from 7 to 10 years, enabling higher at-sea availability.

In support of special operations missions, Barracudas may also accommodate up to 12 commandos, while carrying their equipment in a mobile pod attached aft of the sail.[2]


Designed by Naval Group and TechnicAtome, this submarine will have the following main general features:

  • Stealthiness.
  • Hull sonar, flank antennas, towed antenna, mine avoidance sonar designed by Thales.
  • SYCOBS combat system.
  • Non-penetrating optronic mast in the thick hull designed by Sagem Défense Sécurité.
  • Nemesis countermeasures, based on Naval Group's Contralto system, which applies a "confusion / dilution" principle and combines evasive maneuvers with the deployment of new Canto-S decoys that have been integrated on the Rubis since 2014.
  • Weaponry: 20 weapons in rack, plus 4 in tubes, with a mix of heavy torpedo torpedo F21, underwater-launched Exocet SM39 Block2 Mod2 anti-ship missiles of 50 km range, naval cruise missiles with a range of 1,000 km and mines FG29 - two per standard location - anti-aircraft missiles (Mica missiles / Naval Group A3SM concept) implemented through the same vehicle as the SM39 when fired by torpedo tubes or other systems).
  • K15 nuclear propulsion system designed by TechnicAtome.
  • Autonomy:
    • 10 years of operation (nuclear).
    • 70 days of food.
  • Third generation submarine propulsion (PSM3G) carrying capacity, special operations mini-submarine.


Pennant no.NameLaid downLaunchedCommissionedHomeport
Q284Suffren19 December 200712 July 2019[5]Expected in 2020Toulon
[Data unknown/missing]Duguay-Trouin26 June 2009[Data unknown/missing]Expected by 2025[5]Toulon
[Data unknown/missing]Tourville28 June 2011[Data unknown/missing]Expected by 2025[5]Toulon
[Data unknown/missing]De Grasse[15][Data unknown/missing][Data unknown/missing]Expected by 2025[5]Toulon
[Data unknown/missing]Rubis[15][Data unknown/missing][Data unknown/missing]Expected by 2030[5]Toulon
[Data unknown/missing]Casabianca[15][Data unknown/missing][Data unknown/missing]Expected by 2030[5]Toulon

Shortfin Barracuda conventional variant

Shortfin Barracuda Block 1A (Attack-class submarine)
Profile of the Shortfin Barracuda conventional variant.
Class overview
Name: Shortfin Barracuda Block 1A
Builders: Naval Group (formerly known as DCNS and DCN)
Operators:  Royal Australian Navy
Preceded by: Collins class
  • AU$50 billion[16] (US$38.5 billion) for twelve units
  • AU$4.2billion per unit
In commission: Approx. 2030–2070 (planned)
Planned: 12
Building: 0
Completed: 0
General characteristics
Type: Diesel-electric attack submarine
Displacement: over 4,000 t submerged
Length: 97 m (318 ft)
  • 1 x 7 MW (9,400 hp) permanent magnet motor
  • 4 x diesel alternators
Range: 18,000 nm
Endurance: 90 days submerged

60 crew

12 clearance divers

8 x 533mm torpedo tubes

Payload: 28 torpedoes mix of: Mk 48 torpedoes, Harpoon anti-ship missiles or Mk III Stonefish mines

Naval Group submitted a conventionally powered diesel-electric variation to the design – named the Shortfin Barracuda Block 1A – to the competitive evaluation process (CEP) phase of Australia's Collins-class submarine replacement. "While exact details remain confidential, DCNS can confirm the Shortfin Barracuda is over 90 metres in length and displaces more than 4,000 tons when dived," said Sean Costello, CEO of Naval Group Australia.[17] Naval Group was chosen by the Australian Government on 26 April 2016 to build twelve of the Shortfin Barracuda Block 1A variant at a projected AU$50 billion (US$38.5 billion). Much of the works will be undertaken at ASC Pty Ltd in Adelaide, South Australia.[16][18] Construction is expected to begin in 2020 or 2021.[19]

The class will be known as the Attack-class submarine with the first vessel named HMAS Attack.

See also


  1. "Projet de loi de finances pour 2014 : Défense : équipement des forces et excellence technologique des industries de défense" (in French). Senate of France. 21 November 2013. Retrieved 2014-07-02.
  2. "France's Future SSNs: The Barracuda Class". Defense Industry Daily. 28 October 2014. Retrieved 22 November 2014.
  3. "Nouvelle génération de torpille lourde pour la Marine nationale : la F21" (PDF). Naval Group. October 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 12, 2008. Retrieved 20 May 2010.
  4. Vavasseur, Xavier (8 February 2015). "Exclusive Interview With The French Navy On The Barracuda SSN Program". Retrieved 1 July 2015.
  5. "France launches first Barracuda SSN | Jane's 360". Retrieved 2019-07-12.
  6. Preston, Antony (1 October 2002). "France unveils plans for new barracuda SSNs". Sea Power. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 18 May 2015 via HighBeam Research.
  7. "France orders six 'Barracuda' class nuclear-driven submarines". Agence France Presse. 2006-12-22.
  8. Navy League of the United States - Citizens in Support of the Sea Services Archived March 30, 2006, at the Library of Congress Web Archives
  9. "Les noms des futurs sous-marins nucléaires français dévoilés". Mer et Marine. 2007-05-28. Retrieved 2016-04-29.
  10. "SMX® Ocean Conventionally Powered Attack Submarine, France". Retrieved 16 September 2015.
  11. Scott, Jason; Whitley, Angus. "France's DCNS Wins $39 Billion Australian Submarine Contract". Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved 26 April 2016.
  12. "DCNS : La nouvelle FREMM ER dévoilée à Ottawa". 27 May 2016. Retrieved 18 February 2017.
  13. en:Walrus-class_submarine, oldid 901411999
  14. "SNLE-NG Le Triomphant". Archived from the original on 21 May 2014. Retrieved 22 November 2014.
  15. "Programme Barracuda : mer en vue pour le Suffren" (in French). Ministry of Defence of France. 23 July 2013. Retrieved 2015-08-13.
  16. "France wins $50b contract to help build Australia's new submarines" (Press release). Retrieved 26 April 2016.
  17. "DCNS unveils Shortfin Barracuda" (Press release). Naval Group. 15 July 2015. Retrieved 20 October 2015.
  18. Starick, Paul (2016-04-26). "$50bn Future Submarines to be built at Osborne in Adelaide by French firm Naval Group". The Advertiser. Retrieved 26 April 2016.
  19. "Submarine project boosts France-Australia ties". SBS. AAP. 9 July 2017. Retrieved 10 July 2017.
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.