Défense
Focus on France’s next-generation SSNs

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Focus on France’s next-generation SSNs

Défense

“There are no silver medals in this game. When facing the enemy, the only option is to be the best and to win,” said Admiral Christophe Prazuck, French Navy chief of staff, at a press conference in Cherbourg on 12 July. He was responding to a question on the merits of France’s next-generation Barracuda-type nuclear-powered attack submarines (aka SSNs), compared to the highest performance SSNs deployed by other navies. Admiral Prazuck, who served in the submarine force in the 1980s, then on ASW frigates in the 1990s, stands by his unequivocal reply. The Suffren*, the first of France’s Barracuda-type SSNs, was unveiled in Cherbourg on 12 July and floated off the floor of a floodable dock three weeks later on 2 August. Six Suffren-class boats are scheduled to join the fleet between now and 2029. Together, they will give the Navy a top-class SSN fleet for many years to come. “When we asked the defence procurement agency (DGA) for the type of boat we need for our missions, we obviously asked for the best. In fact, we asked not only for the best, but for the best over the next 40 years.”

 

Admiral Prazuck with Admiral Rogel and General Lecointre at Cherbourg on 12 July (© Mer et Marine – VG)

 

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