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DCNS Scorpène submarine: an unmatched strategic deterrent capability

BALT MILITARY EXPO 2014 Show Daily - Scorpene Submarine
DCNS Scorpène submarine: an unmatched strategic deterrent capability
The specific conditions of the Baltic Sea are favourable for the use of submarines and make them very difficult to detect, unlike land and air platforms for launching deterrent weapons. The ability to operate underwater for several weeks, provided by air-independent propulsion systems, in particular, makes undetectable and omnipresent modern submarines the most effective carriers of cruise missiles. The Scorpène has been designed to carry the MdCN naval cruise missile.

Deterrence is the capability of a State to inflict sufficiently heavy losses on a potential adversary to deter it from attempting an attack. It is a key element of national defence for guaranteeing the protection of one territory. What differentiates cruise missiles from other weapons is their range, enabling them to reach targets deep in the territory of the adversary.
DCNS at Balt Military Expo 2014
Cruise missile submarines, such as the Scorpène built by DCNS, have an effective offensive weapon system able to provide the deterrent capability wanted by Poland. This deterrence does not require a large number of missiles. The important factor is the ability to strike critical targets, with a high probability of success, within a radius of several hundred kilometres around the waters in which submarines can hide. No other weapon system can provide this capability.

Cruise missile operation capability must be integrated into submarines at the design stage, and this is the case for the Scorpène configuration proposed to the Polish Navy by DCNS. The missiles have been developed by defence group MBDA for the French armed forces. The missiles are scheduled to enter service in 2015. The MdCN cruise missile can strike distant land targets with very high precision, thanks to its guidance system, reducing the risk of collateral damage.

The cruise missile submarines will provide a guarantee of national protection. Furthermore, they will reinforce the diplomatic weight of Poland on the international stage. The fact that the Polish armed forces have the capability to launch cruise missiles from submarines will have a significant influence for Poland within NATO and the European Union, where only a few countries possess this capability. Poland will thus be able to join a very select club of countries with influence on the international stage.

Link to Scorpene class SSK technical datasheet