At 7.14 a.m. on Friday, November 26, 2021, Naval Group CEO Pierre-Eric Pommellet began the transfer of the second Barracuda-class nuclear submarine – FS Duguay-Trouin (S636).
Mounted on twenty-four trolleys arranged in two parallel rows, the submarine, weighing approximately 4,500 tons, began to move at a speed of just under thirty meters per hour. Thus, the submarine Duguay-Trouin covered 120 meters separating the Laubeuf shipyard from the Cachin launching device. There was no big ceremony, as was the case in July 2019 with the transfer of the first submarine FS Suffren (S635) and the presence of the President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, this time. Nevertheless, many employees of the Naval Group and its subcontractors came to watch this ceremony of rolling out the submarine from the Laubeuf shipyard.
«The Duguay-Trouin rolled out less ceremoniously», agrees Jean-Luc France, director of the Naval Group in Cherbourg. «Nevertheless, this is an important event for the Naval Group team and its partners».
The first steel sheet of the Duguay-Trouin submarine was cut back in June 2009. In 2017, the Laubeuf shipyard began work on the integration of about 700 thousand pieces of equipment. The submarine hull was assembled by December 2020. «Together with TechnicAtome, we have just completed extensive testing of a nuclear facility», said Hervé Glandais, program director at Naval Group. The last phase of testing will continue at the Cachin facility.
The FS Duguay-Trouin (S636) attack-class nuclear-powered attack submarine is due to be delivered to the French Navy at the end of 2022.
The Barracuda class boat building program, Hervé Glandais noted, is the main one for the Naval Group. About 10,000 people and 800 enterprises are working on this program. In Cherbourg alone, 2,500 people work daily, including 800 partners and subcontractors.
In addition to FS Suffren (S635) and FS Duguay-Trouin (S636), the fleet will receive 4 Barracuda class nuclear submarines: FS De Grasse (S637), FS Tourville (S638), FS Rubis (S639) and FS Casabianca (S640). By 2026, the fleet will have four Barracuda-class submarines in service (one submarine every two years). The last boat in the series, Casabianca, will be delivered to the fleet in 2029.