France launched the Suffren nuclear-powered attack submarine

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French shipbuilder Naval Group on Friday launched the Suffren nuclear-powered attack submarine here under the gaze of President Emmanuel Macron.

The company is expected to deliver the boat to the French Navy early next year to run sea trials during the course of 2020. Industry and government officials acknowledged a tight timeline, but they said they are confident about passing all required testing and integration work before the boat can be accepted by the sea service as operationally ready.

Naval Group advertised the Suffren as having a high degree of stealth and for its ability to fire cruise missiles at faraway targets. The company’s program manager, Vincent Martinot-Lagarde, compared the boat’s acoustic signature to the “sound of the ocean,” or to the noise made by shrimp.

France wants to buy six copies of the Barracuda class, with the five future subs named Duguay-Trouin, Tourville, De Grasse, Rubis and Casabianca. All vessels are in various stages of production at Naval Group’s facilities in this Normandy coastal town, executives said. The submarine class’ service life is expected to end sometime in the 2060s.
 

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