French Navy future nuclear attack submarine SNA Suffren begins trials in Toulon

On July 29, 2020, the Suffren, first out of six SNAs nuclear attack submarine of the Barracuda program, will arrive at Toulon naval base to begin a new phase of testing in the Mediterranean Sea.
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French Navy future nuclear attack submarine SNA Suffren begins trials in Toulon 925 001 SNA Suffren Submarine. (Picture source: Marine Nationale)

Led by the General Directorate of Armaments (DGA) and by the French Navy, sea trial is a necessary preliminary step before the final delivery of the ship planned in 2020. The arrival of Suffren in Toulon marks a new milestone in its test program.

For the record, the submarine was launched in 1998 with construction beginning in 2006, the Barracuda program will modernize France’s SNA fleet.

The director of the DGA Techniques expertise and testing centre naval vessels and an engineer participating in the tests onboard the Suffren will be presented to answer questions from the press on July 29, 2020, at Toulon Naval Base.

A crew of 65 submariners will crew Suffren. To adapt them to the new technologies of this warship, they have already been training for three years on simulators. The Suffren’s fitting-out crew, commanded by Commander Axel Roche, was officially mustered on 11 July.

The first four will be delivered by 2025. With Suffren, Duguay Trouin, Tourville, De Grasse, Rubis and Casabianca currently in different phases of construction, the French Navy will be able to gradually retire and decommission its first generation of nuclear-powered attack submarines.