Tag Archives: Naval Group

Divergence
of the reactor

After the launch of the Suffren last 12 July in the presence of the President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron, a new milestone was reached with the divergence of the reactor, a prelude to its first sea acceptance tests prior to its delivery in 2020.

The start-up of the Suffren nuclear reactor

The divergence of the Suffren’s nuclear reactor has just been performed by the TechnicAtome and Naval Group teams on the Cherbourg site in accordance with the authorisations issued by the French Nuclear Safety Authority (Autorité de Sûreté Nucléaire – ASN) and the French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA).

Designed under the responsibility of the French Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies Agency (CEA), the nuclear reactor was built under the prime contracting of TechnicAtome, reactor designer, Naval Group being responsible for the production of the pressure equipments and the integration of the reactor on-board the Barracuda submarines.

One thousand employees from both companies are working full time in parallel on the six reactors of the Barracuda program.

Loïc Rocard, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of TechnicAtome, declared: «The first divergence of the nuclear reactor is a privileged moment for all those who contributed to make this operational and technological success possible. From the designer to the operator, and including the fitters, testers, welders and so many other trades, this is a rare moment of collective achievement, the symbol of a sector that lives up to its ambitions in the service of the French Navy».

Hervé Guillou, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Naval Group: «The start-up of the nuclear reactor on-board the Suffren submarine is a new demonstration of the know-how of the French nuclear industrial sector, with TechnicAtome and Naval Group in the forefront. This success gives the country an unequalled defence tool with a high degree of industrial autonomy benefitting the sovereignty of France».

 

About divergence

Divergence is conducted from the Propulsion Control Station (PCS) of the Suffren. The operation consists in triggering a controlled nuclear reaction in the core for the first time. Lasting only a short time, this operation marks the beginning of the constant monitoring of the nuclear reactor by the operating teams. This operation will be continuous until the decommissioning of the submarine, planned for the 2050 decade.

 

The Suffren

The Barracuda is the submarine of the 21st century, designed to meet the operational needs of the current and future navy. It features extensive operational capabilities and the latest technologies. More versatile, higher performing and better armed than its predecessors, the Suffren type SSN will go faster and further. It is designed to control all types of marine spaces, from the high seas to coastal areas.

Launched in 1998 by the French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA), the Barracuda program renews its Ship Subsurface Nuclear (SSN) component composed of six Rubis type SSNs commissioned at the start of eighties. The associated development contract was notified in December 2006.

The Suffren type SSN is equipped with a nuclear propulsion system which offers a remarkable action range and discretion. It also features communication means allowing its integration within a naval force.

 

A few figures and key dates

This is a long-term program: more than ten years were necessary to study the feasibility of the project and lead to the definition of a submarine that meets the operational need expressed in

the staff requirement file. The nuclear reactor components required the procurement of raw materials in the early 2000s.

The delivery of the six submarines will span one decade beginning in 2020.

  • Knowing that the lifespan of Suffren type SSNs will be more than 35 years, this program serves the submarine forces at least up to 2060, making it one of the major weapon systems of this century.
  • Since the launch of the project, nearly 10,000 people from the program management and industrial subcontracting chain have worked for the Barracuda program.
  • The Suffren, the first of class, was launched 1st August 2019 and will begin its sea trials in the first quarter of 2020 to arrive in Toulon before the summer.

Launch and Recovery

Naval Group achieved 100% successful recoveries of ECA Group’s Inspector 125 up to and including sea state 5/6 using its Launch and Recovery System (LARS) in MARIN test facilities (Wageningen – The Netherlands).

Naval Group successfully completes testing of its Launch and Recovery System

In Naval Group’s Dutch partner MARIN facilities, Belgian and Dutch officials witnessed the 100% successful launching and recovery of Unmanned Surface Vehicles (USVs) using Naval Group Launch and Recovery System (LARS). The tests were conducted up to sea state 5/6 (significant waves height: 4 m/13.1 feet) and with incoming waves from all directions (including leeward of the mothership).

This is a world first and proves that the launch and recovery concept developed by Naval Group is the answer for operating USVs safely in harsh maritime environments. Naval Group demonstrated its expertise and qualifies its system, paving the way to new capabilities for navies needing to operate USV at sea in difficult conditions.

Naval Group mothership has one port and one starboard LARS located slightly aft of midship, close to the ship’s centre of gravity. Each LARS consists of a pivoting A-Frame davit with the USV, weighing up to 18 t, housed in a floating cradle. It allows the simultaneous launch of two USVs with maximal safety. For the Belgian-Dutch Mine CounterMeasure (MCM BE/NL) program, conducted by Belgium Naval Robotics – a Naval Group and ECA Group consortium – they will be used to operate two ECA’s Inspector 125 USV.

Claude Bultot, the Belgian program director said «This success is an important milestone in the program and towards the implementation of a new way to conduct our minehunting activities that will be more efficient and safer for our crews. We are looking forward to the next steps together with the Dutch navy and with our industrial partners from Naval Group and ECA Group».

These tests belong to a series for the MCM BE/NL program. In August 2019, first tank tests were carried out in MARIN facilities with the same scale model of the ship’s hull and propulsion system under calm sea conditions. The first objective was to confirm and fine-tune computational fluid dynamic predictions made for speed and to validate the overall hull drag and propellers efficiency. The second objective was to assess interactions between the hull and propulsion system in order to estimate the total propulsion power of the ship. The next series of tests will take place in February and will assess the cradle handling dynamic aspects.

These tests belong to a series for the MCM BE/NL program. In August 2019, first tank tests were carried out in MARIN facilities with the same scale model of the ship’s hull and propulsion system under calm sea conditions. The first objective was to confirm and fine-tune computational fluid dynamic predictions made for speed and to validate the overall hull drag and propellers efficiency. The second objective was to assess interactions between the hull and propulsion system in order to estimate the total propulsion power of the ship. The next series of tests will take place in February and will assess the cradle handling dynamic aspects.

The contract for twelve minehunters for the Belgian and Dutch navies will run over ten years. After a three-year design period, Belgium Naval & Robotics will move into the production phase for these ships and drone systems, with a first delivery due in 2024. Six ships will be delivered to the Belgian navy and six to the Dutch navy; all are equipped with complete drone systems (toolboxes) in total containing over a hundred underwater, surface and aerial drones fully dedicated to mines countermeasures.

Surface Combatant

The steel-cutting ceremony of the first Defence and Intervention Frigate (FDI) took place on the Naval Group site of Lorient. The ceremony was led in the presence of the Minister for Armed Forces, Florence Parly, the Head of the French Armament Directorate (DGA) Délégué général pour l’Armement, Joël Barre, the Chief of Staff of the French Navy Christophe Prazuck, the Chief of the Hellenic Navy Nikolaos Tsounis, many French officials and foreign delegations as well as Naval Group CEO, Hervé Guillou. The First of class will be delivered in 2023 and is part of a series of five vessels.

Naval Group launches the construction of the first digital frigate for the French Navy

Sylvain Perrier, Naval Group Director of the FDI program declared during this event: «Today, after the successful completion of the initial studies and development phases, we are proud, to reach this first industrial milestone. This ceremony is the first for this major program for which, the DGA will be in charge of prime contract management to the benefit of the French Navy. Thanks to this program, Naval Group will also keep on developing its international exposure. This program will increase to fifteen the number of first-rank frigates of the French Navy, as planned in the French Military Spending Plan (LPM). We were able to uphold our commitment thanks to the collaborative work model we adopted with our client and to the mobilisation of state and industrial actors».

 

A digital multi-mission 4,500 tons-class frigate

The FDI is a high sea vessel with a 4,500 tons class displacement. Multipurpose and resilient, she is capable of operating, alone or within a naval force, through all of types of warfare: anti-surface, anti-air, anti-submarine and allows for special forces projection.

Strongly armed (Exocet MM40 B3C anti-surface missiles, Aster 15/30 anti-air missiles, MU90 antisubmarine torpedoes, artillery), the FDI is able to embark simultaneously a helicopter and an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). She can also receive a Special Forces detachment with their two commando boats.

The FDI will be the first French frigate natively protected against cyber threats, with a Data Centre accommodating a great part of the ship applications. The FDI introduces the concept of a dedicated system for asymmetric threats warfare, distinct from the operation room. Located behind the bridge, it will lead asymmetrical warfare against air and surface threats such as mini-UAVs or tricked boats. The FDIwhich gathers the best of French technology in a compact platform. She is a powerful and innovative frigate, designed for facing evolving threats.

The design and production of the FDI build on the experience of the FREMM program: Naval Group benefits from the operational feedback given by the French Navy.

Key figures:

  • Displacement: 4,500 tons class;
  • Length: 122 meters/400 feet;
  • Beam: 18 meters/59 feet;
  • Maximum speed: 27 knots/31 mph/50 km/h;
  • Autonomy: 45 days;
  • Accomodation: 125 + 28 passengers.

 

A large-scale industrial collaboration that particularly mobilises the Naval Group site of Lorient

Five defence and intervention frigates (FDI) have been ordered in April 2017 by the Direction Générale de l’Armement (DGA) to the benefit of the French Navy.

The build of the first of class represents around one million hours of work for the teams of the Naval Group’ site of Lorient. Furthermore, it contributes to the economic development of its suppliers and subcontractors, to local employment around Lorient but also to the other Naval Group sites that brought their specific know-how to the program. The conception and development studies also represent around one million hours of work for the entire series.

Industrial key figures:

  • A 100% digital conception – zero paper plans;
  • 1 million hours of production work for each unit of the series on the Naval Group’ site of Lorient;
  • 1 million hours of conception and development for the program;
  • 400 subcontractors
  • 20 km/12.4 miles of tubes and 300 km/186.4 miles of cables for each FDI.

 

Many export opportunities

The future frigate targets the intermediary tonnage ships segment for which there is an international demand. Thanks to its modularity, the ship can be configured to fulfil diverse missions depending on the expressed needs. Thus, with on the one hand the Gowind 2,500-tonnes corvette, on the other hand the 6,000-tonnes FREMM and now the FDI, Naval Group proposes a complete offer for strongly armed military ships.

A Letter of Intention was signed on the 10th of October 2019 by the Greek Minister of Defence, Nicolaos Panagiotopoulos and the French Minister for Armed Forces, Florence Parly. This announcement is in line with the strategic cooperation between the two countries and will allow a close dialogue in order to bring the best answer to the needs of the Hellenic Navy.

Belharra frigates

According to ekathimerini.com, Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos on Thursday (October 10) expressed Greece’s willingness to launch talks for the acquisition of two new navy frigates in talks with his French counterpart Florence Parly in Paris.

Greece signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) to buy two Belharra frigates similar to those that Naval Group is building for the French Navy. If the deal goes through, Greece will become the frigate’s first export customer (NG image)

The ministers signed a statement of intent for the acquisition by the Hellenic Navy of two frigates, Panagiotopoulos said, adding that there was «a long way to go» before an agreement is reached on the required «technical aspects» of the vessels.

Another point of discussion was some pending issues relating to the maintenance of French Mirage fighter jets, he said.

The two ministers also discussed Turkey’s offensive in Syria and developments in the eastern Mediterranean where Turkey continues its illegal prospecting for hydrocarbons in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone.

In comments to reporters after his meeting with Parly, Panagiotopoulos referred to French and Italian vessels in the area, saying that they served to underline the presence of the European Union and its objections to Turkey’s continuing transgressions in Cyprus’ waters.

Brazilian Scorpène

According to Poder Naval, the submarine Riachuelo (S40), the first of four S-BR (modified Scorpène class) diesel-electric attack submarines of the Submarine Development Program (Prosub), started her sea trials on September 25, 2019.

The Brazilian Navy’s first license-built Scorpène submarine, Riachuelo (S40), at the Itaguaí Naval Complex while preparing for her sea trials. These are due to last for the first half of 2020, with commissioning to follow in October 2020 (Twitter photo)

Sea trials are scheduled to last until the first half of 2020, while boat’s commissioning is scheduled for October 2020.

Riachuelo (S40) was launched at a ceremony held at the Itaguaí Naval Complex on December 14, 2018.

A 533-mm heavy F21 torpedo from the Naval Group and a test Exocet SM39 Block 2 Mod 2 anti-ship missile are expected to be launched during the Riachuelo sea trials, the Navy said.

The Riachuelo will be followed by three more submarines: the Humaitá (S41), scheduled for launch in 2020, the Tonelero (S42) in 2021 and the Angostura (S43) in 2022.

Normandie

The Directorate-General of Armaments (DGA) on July 16, 2019 took delivery of «Normandie» (D651), the sixth multi-mission frigate (FREMM) for the French Navy. Versatile warships with exceptional performances in anti-submarine warfare and strike capability that is unique in Europe, the FREMMs are the backbone of the French Navy’s surface fleet.

Normandie (D651), France’s sixth FREMM frigate, was formally handed over to the French Navy on July 16. Like her predecessors, she is primarily intended for anti-submarine warfare, while the following two FREMM will be configured for air-defense (NG photo)

The FREMM program is managed by the Joint Organization for Cooperation on Armament Programs (OCCAR), in cooperation with Italy. It is involved in the modernization of the Navy and the renewal of its frigate component with eight vessels that will form the backbone of the surface fleet.

As project owner for France, the DGA has completed the tests to verify the smooth operation of Normandie (D651) and its compliance with expected performance, in partnership with the Navy and industry. OCCAR authorized the delivery, allowing DGA to hand the ship over to the French Navy.

FREMM, designed and developed by Naval Group, is a stealthy, versatile, enduring and versatile ship with an advanced degree of automation. Her main missions are the control of a zone of maritime operation, on the surface and under the sea, in-depth precision strike with the naval cruise missile (MdCN) that it is the only navy in Europe to operate, and support for projection operations.

She is also capable of operating the Caiman Marine (NFH90), a multi-role shipborne helicopter, with a particularly developed anti-submarine capability. The FREMM-Caiman combination represents a capability jump in the field of anti-submarine warfare. The FREMM is also equipped with the Ecume, the new tactical boat for marine commandos.

The first six frigates are predominantly equipped for anti-submarine warfare missions, while the next two – Alsace (D656) and Aquitaine (D657) – will have air-defense as their primary mission.

The military program law 2019-2025 provides for the delivery to the French navy of these last two frigates in 2021 and 2022.

 

Characteristics

Overall length 142 metres/466 feet
Width 20 metres/65.6 feet
Displacement 6,000 tonnes
Maximum speed 27 knots/31 mph/50 km/h
Implementation 123 persons (among whom 14 dedicated to the helicopter detachment)
Range 45 days

 

Barracuda

On July 12 2019, during a ceremony presided over by the President of the French Republic Emmanuel Macron, Naval Group launched the Suffren, the first of six nuclear submarines of the latest generation in Cherbourg. This event is a key step for the Barracuda program for the benefit of the French Navy.

In the presence of the President of the French Republic, Naval Group launches the Suffren, the latest generation of nuclear submarines (SSN)

Hervé Guillou, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Naval Group, said: «We are proud to have presented to the President of the French Republic the first submarine of the Barracuda-class, a symbol of our exceptional know-how and our ability to master the most advanced technologies and the most complex products. The construction of the Suffren is a collective success, the result of a strong cooperation with our long-standing partners: the French Navy and the French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA), but also the Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies Commission (CEA), TechnicAtome and all the manufacturers of the sector. Now, we are all focused on finalising the Suffren tests at the shipyard, with the start-up of the nuclear boiler room in the coming weeks, but also on producing the complete series. Maintaining our knowledge and adapting to new technologies are among our main priorities».

Vincent Martinot-Lagarde, Director of the Barracuda program at Naval Group, also commented: «To successfully complete this extraordinary project, several thousand women and men worked together, driven by the same values of team spirit and technical excellence. Today, on the occasion of this exceptional ceremony, we are very proud to present our work, which is the result of the extraordinary diversity of our skills».

 

Naval Group’s know-how and technological expertise

The Suffren is the first of the Barracuda-class series, designed to replace the Rubis-class generation. Naval Group is in charge of the construction of this submarines series, including the design and construction of the ship and information systems as well as the manufacturing of the main components of nuclear boiler rooms.

Naval Group is the overall prime contractor of the ship’s architecture (2 500 people) and TechnicAtome is the prime contractor for the nuclear reactor. The French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA) is in charge of the overall program, with the Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies Commission (CEA) for the nuclear reactor.

French President Emmanuel Macron, center, meets with submarine crew members after the official launch ceremony of the new French nuclear submarine Suffren in Cherbourg, northwestern France, on July 12, 2019 (Ludovic Marin/AFP via Getty Images)

 

With this program, Naval Group irrigates the French industry with more than 10,000 people and 800 companies involved

All the skills within the group are called upon to design and produce the Suffren and the following of the Barracuda series. All Naval Group sites are simultaneously mobilised. Nantes-Indret, Angoulême-Ruelle, Brest and Lorient design and produce different systems and modules. The Ollioules site is responsible for the design and production of the combat system. The entire program is managed from Cherbourg, where the submarines are assembled and tested.

The Toulon site will be in charge of the maintenance of the Suffren and gradually that of the entire series. The in-service support was taken into account from the submarine’s design stage to limit the number and duration of interventions, thus optimising the availability of the Barracuda-class at sea.

 

The Suffren: a technology and capacity leap

The Suffren is one of the stealthiest submarines over the world. This discretion, combined with its advanced detection capabilities, guarantees its acoustic superiority.

For the first time thanks to the Suffren-class submarines, the French Navy will have a deep strike capability with MBDA’s naval cruise missiles (MdCN). The latest generation of SSN also allows the discreet deployment of special forces underwater, in particular thanks to its «divers hatch» and the optional carrying of a dry deck shelter allowing for the deployment of underwater vehicles.

More discreet, manoeuvrable and mobile, the Suffren has the latest generation of systems, including a centralised and more automated driving.

France launches first Barracuda-class nuclear attack sub

 

The technical characteristics of the Suffren-class submarines

Surface displacement 4,700 tonnes
Diving displacement 5,300 tonnes
Length 99 metres/324.8 feet
Diameter 8.8 metres/28.9 feet
Armament naval cruise missiles, F21 heavy-weight wire-guided torpedoes, modernised Exocet SM39 anti-ship missiles
Hybrid propulsion pressurised water reactor derived from the reactors on board the Triomphant-type SSBN and Charles-de-Gaulle aircraft carrier, two propulsion turbines, two turbo generators and two electric motors
Speed 25 knots/29 mph/46 km/h
Crew 65 crew members + commandos
Availability 270 days per year

 

Support Vessels

On July 04, 2019, the Directorate-General for Armaments (DGA) took delivery of the «Garonne» (A605), the fourth and final vessel in the Metropolitan Support and Assistance Vessels (BSAM) program, ordered from the Kership group of companies (Chantiers Piriou and Naval Group). This new Navy vessel will be based in Brest.

France will base two of its new BSAM rescue and assistance vessels at its two major naval bases, Brest in Brittany and Toulon on the Mediterranean (FR Navy photo)

This new ship reinforces and modernizes the capabilities of the French Navy. An extremely versatile ship design, the BSAM is designed to carry out three types of missions: the support of naval forces (towing of large-tonnage ships; accompaniment and support of submarines; and training of the forces), maritime security (rescue at sea, assistance to ships in distress, fight against maritime pollution, etc.) and regional support activities (towing machinery, anchoring and maintenance of mooring boxes, lifting of wrecks …).

The first BSAM, the «Loire» (A602), operates from Toulon and the second one in the series, «Rhone» (A603), operates from Brest. The third ship, the «Seine» (A604), which will be admitted to active service in July, after its long-term shakedown cruise that ran from March 25 to June 25, will be based in Toulon.

Multi-mission corvette

The Romanian authorities announced on July 03, 2019 the selection of Naval Group and its partner Santierul Naval Constanta (SNC) for the programme to build four new Gowind multi-mission corvettes, to modernize the T22 frigates and to create a maintenance centre and a training centre.

Despite a last-minute protest by Italy’s Fincantieri, its new naval shipbuilding partner, France’s Naval Group’s €1.2 billion bid to supply Romania with four locally-built Gowind corvettes has finally been selected by the Romanian government (NG photo)

The Naval Group and SNC teams are honoured by the trust of the Romanian authorities and look forward to working together to provide the Romanian Navy with the four state-of-the art Gowind corvettes.

With this programme, Romania will benefit from Naval Group’s long tradition of excellence and experience. The Gowind design has already been chosen by several countries. The platform and its combat system including the Setis Combat Management System (CMS) offer a comprehensive set of state-of-the-art NATO-standard combat-proven capabilities for Anti-Surface Warfare (ASuW), Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) and Anti-Air Warfare (AAW). The Gowind is the perfect solution for Romania to carry out its strategic missions as a major NATO partner in the Black Sea and will also strengthen European Defence capabilities.

Naval Group and SNC’s offer is based on the complementarities of their partnership, which will ensure Romania’s sovereignty and autonomy since SNC will receive the necessary know-how to support the complete life cycle of the corvettes, from building to maintenance and modernisation.

Multi-mission frigate

Naval Group is extremely honored to host the French Minister for the Armed Forces, Florence Parly. This celebration marks not only the end of work on the six multi-mission frigates, but also the beginning of the manufacturing of the FREMM frigates with reinforced air defence capabilities and of the Defence and Intervention Frigate (FDI), the first fully digital warships.

Naval Group Welcomes Minister Florence Parly to its Lorient Shipyard to Mark the End of Construction of the FREMM Frigate Normandie (D651)

Hervé Guillou, CEO of Naval Group, and Admiral Christophe Prazuck, Chief of Staff of the French Navy, hosted the Minister for the Armed Forces on board the Normandie (D651) frigate for a visit. This warship was delivered in a record time of 40 months, the shortest completion time of the whole multi-mission frigates program.

Florence Parly and Hervé Guillou had the opportunity to discuss the ongoing and future surface ships programs built in Lorient: FREMM, FDI and aircraft carriers.

Hervé Guillou claimed: «We are proud to meet the expectations set by the Military Programming Law. Today, with the completion of the FREMM Normandie, Naval Group has fulfilled its commitment. This industrial and technical success, which represents more than 2.5 million working hours, encourages us to keep on completing our mission in service of our national and international clients. This project shows once again the firm’s capacity to respect its engagements in terms of costs, deadlines and performance».

 

Industrial excellence

The Normandie (D651) is the sixth French multi-mission FREMM frigate. It will soon be delivered in Brest. This program is managed by the OCCAR (Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation) on behalf of – in France – the French Navy and of the French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA).

At the same time the construction of two multi-mission frigates with renewed anti-air defence capacities – the Alsace (D656) and the Lorraine (D657) – will begin in Lorient. They will be respectively delivered in 2021 and 2022.

Furthermore, Naval Group teams are already launching the program for defence and intervention frigates (FDI) that will be delivered from 2023 onward. This first «fully digital» warship will benefit from the latest digital technologies. The first cut of steel-sheets is expected in October 2019.

 

FREMM frigates technical characteristics

Heavily armed, the Normandie FREMM deploys the most effective equipment and weapon systems, integrating the SETIS software as well as the Herakles multi-function radar, the Naval Cruise Missile (NCM), the Aster and Exocet MM40 missiles and MU 90 torpedoes.

 

Characteristics

Overall length 142 metres/466 feet
Width 20 metres/65.6 feet
Displacement 6,000 tonnes
Maximum speed 27 knots/31 mph/50 km/h
Implementation 123 persons (among whom 14 dedicated to the helicopter detachment)
Range 45 days