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France Navy Barracuda class submarine Duguay Trouin declared operational.

| Naval News Navy 2024

According to information published by the French MoD on April 4, 2024, the French Navy officially welcomed the nuclear-powered attack submarine (SSN) Duguay-Trouin into active service. The ceremony was led by Admiral Nicolas Vaujour, Chief of Staff of the Navy.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Barracuda class submarine Duguay Trouin. (Picture source: French Navy)

The Duguay-Trouin is the second submarine in the Suffren-class series, which is planned to replace the existing fleet of Rubis-class submarines by the year 2030. Prior to its official commissioning, the Duguay-Trouin underwent a series of sea trials that began in March 2023.

These trials, known as the Verification of Military Characteristics (VCM), tested the submarine's performance, endurance, and equipment to ensure they met required specifications.

During its trials, the Duguay-Trouin operated in both cold and warm waters and made a stop in Fort-de-France in March 2024, a first for a Suffren-class SSN. With the completion of its trials, the submarine is now prepared for its deployment in various missions.

Like the first submarine in its class, the Suffren, the Duguay-Trouin is tasked with roles similar to those of the Rubis-class submarines but is expected to deliver superior capabilities.

It is equipped with a naval cruise missile (MdCN) for ground strikes and features facilities to support special forces operations, including a diver's lockout chamber and a deck hangar.

The French submarine force includes 3,200 personnel and a total of 10 nuclear submarines, comprising six attack submarines (SSNs) and four ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs). These submarines are manned by alternating crews, known as Blue and Red.

France has ensured that at least one SSBN has been at sea since 1972 to maintain a continuous at-sea nuclear deterrent. SSNs are an integral part of the French Navy, tasked with supporting nuclear deterrence, protecting naval forces, intelligence, surveillance, and conducting strike operations.

Technical data of Duguay Trouin

The submarine is manned by a crew of 65 sailors. It measures 99.5 meters in length and has a beam of 8.8 meters. The draft of the submarine is 7.3 meters, with an air draft of 8.4 meters. When surfaced, it displaces 4,650 tons, increasing to 5,300 tons while submerged.

Powered by a 150 MW K15 pressurized water reactor, it also includes two turbo-alternators and two SEMT Pielstick backup diesel engines of 480 kW each, alongside a pump-jet propulsor for enhanced maneuverability.

The reactor's output is 150 MW, with turbo-alternators adding another 10 MW. This setup allows the submarine to exceed speeds of 23 knots (approximately 46 km/h) underwater and maintain 14 knots (about 26 km/h) on the surface. With the ability to operate at depths exceeding 350 meters, the submarine is designed for a wide range of underwater activities.

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