French Navy upgrade and discussion

Amarante

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(ZoneMilitaire, jun.14)
The French Navy is evaluating a Norwegian underwater drone for its future deep-sea operations concepts


In October 2021, i.e. a few months before the presentation of the Ministry of the Armed Forces' strategy for the seabed [for which a budget of 2.9 million euros has been earmarked in the 2022 finance law], the French Navy evaluated the ECA Group's A18D submarine drone during a mission of the Metropolitan assistance and support ship [BSAM, for Bâtiment de Soutien et d'assistance Métropolitain] Rhône.

One of the challenges of this evaluation was to prepare the CHOF programme [future hydrographic and oceanographic capability], which should lead to the replacement of the hydrographic vessels Lapérouse, Borda and Laplace by two new units by 2025/27.

During this mission of the BSAM Rhône, the A18D drone was used for high-resolution mapping of the relief and seabed to a depth of 3,000 metres, in rather difficult sea conditions.


However, when she unveiled the strategy for controlling the seabed last February, Florence Parly, now ex-Minister of the Armed Forces, announced that she had just decided to equip the French Navy with "resources capable of reaching a depth of 6,000 metres". This, she explained, would make it possible to "cover 97% of the seabed and effectively protect our interests, including the submarine cables, the keystone of telecommunications and the Internet".

In any case, and still with the intention of preparing the CHOF programme, the French Navy is currently evaluating the Hugin underwater drone from the hydrographic and oceanographic vessel [BHO] Beautemps-Beaupré.

Developed by the Norwegian company Kongsberg, this autonomous underwater drone has an autonomy of 100 hours [while sailing at 4 knots]. It is equipped with a synthetic aperture sonar [or side scan sonar], a camera and a multi-beam echo sounder. Most importantly, it can descend to a depth of 6000 metres.

This "exploratory approach allows us to confront our current know-how with the technological challenges of tomorrow", particularly with regard to the future hydrographic vessels of the CHOF programme, explains the French Navy.

For its Chief of Staff, Admiral Pierre Vandier, it is also a question of "testing future concepts of operations on the seabed". He added: "This concrete and pragmatic approach to innovation allows us to design the future performance of hydrographic and oceanographic vessels. From their design stage, these vessels will integrate all the requirements linked to the use of drones.
La Marine nationale évalue un drone sous-marin norvégien pour ses futurs concepts d'opérations dans les abysses - Zone Militaire
 
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Amarante

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Following Mission Marianne (France's 7 month-long deployment of one SSN to the Indo-Pacific) the Marine Nationale has announced the ending of Mission Confiance (6 month-long deployment to the Indian Ocean). Both illustrate France's commitment to the world east of Suez.

Both deployments were backed by a Loire-class auxiliary. These are not as exciting as SSN and destroyers but essential nonetheless when performing long-range deployments, even when the Marine Nationale can count on the goodwill of local partners and allies.

Interestingly, the crew of the submarine was replaced by a fresh one halfway through Operation Confiance during a stopover at Goa, 🇮🇳. (Operation Marianne did very much the same thing, but in Guam, 🇺🇸). Speaks highly of the quality of France's strat. partnership with India.

How sustainable these deployments are when FR only operates 5 (soon to be 4) SSN and while Europe's maritime marches are increasingly volatile is hard to assess. But the fleet availability will only improve with the intro. of all 6 Suffren-class SSN into active service, in 2030.


 
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Amarante

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Light armaments for a Frigate, only 16 VLS? French Navy trying to follow Indian Navy by under arming the vessels ?
i have read: in the event that additional equipment budgets are approved by the policy, DGA (french drdo) has asked industry to provide a rough costing to reinforce some existing/planned capabilities, including those vessels.

It was asked in particular to study several possibilities of reinforcement of the armament:
1. Addition of 16 MDCN (naval cruise missiles; Sylver A70 launchers)
2. Addition of 16 ASTER 15/30 missiles (Sylver A50 launchers)
3. Addition of VL-MICA-NG missiles (a priori 16 individual launchers)

(thx to the original poster)
 
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A Person

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Light armaments for a Frigate, only 16 VLS? French Navy trying to follow Indian Navy by under arming the vessels ?
It's been a long-standing problem. Navy wants to hulls in numbers, budget doesn't follow, so the hulls are FFBNW and under-armed. Doesn't help that a large part of the budget goes into the SSBN and their missiles. The surface fleet as a result gets to make the cuts that cannot be asked of the submarine fleet.
 
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Amarante

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La poisse (is French for misfortune)

MINISTRY OF THE ARMY
Freedom Equality Fratemity

PRESS RELEASE
Toulon, September 26 2022

Intervention on the SNA Perle - Update n°2

The intervention of specialised teams on board the nuclear attack submarine (SNA) Perle has enabled
extinguished the fire.
The rapid intervention allowed the event to be contained within the room where it had broken out,
Pumping of the extinguishing and cooling water was then undertaken.
This phase allowed for more in-depth investigations inside the Pearl to be carried out in order to
to ensure that there were no residual hot spots. The fire was declared extinguished at 9.19 pm and the
The fire was declared out at 21:19 and the internal emergency plan (IEP) was terminated.
As a precautionary measure, the submarine remains under surveillance by the intervention teams.
Reminder of the facts:
On 26 September 2022, at 12:42 pm, while undergoing long-term maintenance at the Toulon naval base, a fire
broke out on board the nuclear attack submarine Perle. In accordance with procedures and as a preventive measure, the
(PUI) of the Toulon naval base site was activated.
No injuries were reported and no radiological risk is to be feared.
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
 

Amarante

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Jun 22, 2021
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(LeMarin (fr), sept.27)
Fire on the submarine "Perle" linked to a weld

It was a "welding job" that triggered the burning of a heat insulating coating in a food storage room of the nuclear attack submarine Perle, which was the victim of a fire on 26 September, the maritime prefect for the Mediterranean, Gilles Boidevezi, explained to the sailor the following day.

The previous day, the fire lasted for almost nine hours before being declared out. The room is located under the crew's cafeteria, and therefore "did not have" any impact on the hull of the forward part, that of the Saphir which had been joined to the rear of the Pearl, which remained intact after the first fire on 12 June 2020. According to the Navy, which had activated its internal emergency plan (IEP) as a precaution, there was no leak. Vice-Admiral Gilles Boidevezi believes that the adjustments linked to the feedback from the first fire have been validated with this new incident, with a better reactivity of the fire brigade, made possible in particular by a better watch and a pre-positioning of equipment on the submarine docks.

At this stage, the impact of this new incident on the Pearl's release date, scheduled for January 2023, is not known.
/deepl
 

Amarante

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(var-matin (fr), sept.27)
La Perle "should be back at sea next summer" says the Chief of Naval Staff
Present for the Rencontres Stratégiques de la Méditerranée organised at the Palais Neptune, Admiral Pierre Vandier, Chief of Staff of the Navy, confirmed that the incident of La Perle on Monday was minimal. So much so that the ship should be back at sea, as planned, next summer.

After the new fire on the nuclear attack submarine (SNA) La Perle, the head of the Navy wants to reassure. "After yesterday's incident, what needs to be done in terms of repair work is fairly insignificant. The paint has not blistered, the temperatures have not risen.

According to Admiral Pierre Vandier, the availability of the ship is not in question "she should be back at sea next summer". Concerning the fire, the Chief of Staff said: "The insulating coating of a stainless steel fridge, which is cork, burned following a grinding operation. The burning cork spread like a fire under the carpet. By the time we had dismantled everything, it took four hours."
To deal with the fire and stop it after 8 hours of intervention, nearly 90 firemen from the naval base and from Marseille were dispatched. But why then did they mobilise so many men for an incident described as "so minor"? The former pasha of the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier answers: "If there were a lot of firemen deployed, it was because we didn't want to repeat history, after the 2020 episode. As soon as the emergency plan was activated, the cavalry was dispatched. The Marseilles fire brigade came immediately and we had all the intervention levels behind us.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
 

Amarante

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duguay-trouin-20221003.jpg

(opex360, (fr), Oct.03)

The nuclear boiler room of the submarine Duguay-Trouin has been started up

Launched in the "Cachin" basin of the Cherbourg shipyard during the summer, the nuclear attack submarine [SNA] Duguay-Trouin, the second in the "Barracuda" series, which will have six in total, reached a new stage on 30 September, with the start-up of its K-15 nuclear reactor, developed under the project management of the Military Applications Directorate [DAM] of the French Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies Commission [CEA] and built under the project management of TechnicAtome. The announcement was made on 3 October by the French Defence Procurement Agency [DGA].

Carried out from the Propulsion Control Station [PCP], this operation, called "divergence", consisted in triggering a chain reaction of uranium fission in the reactor core. It also marked the beginning of permanent monitoring of the submarine's nuclear boiler room by the control teams.

"This stage, carried out after prior authorisation by the Delegate for Nuclear Safety and Radiation Protection for Defence-related Activities and Installations [DSND], will be followed by sea trials of the Duguay-Trouin submarine before its delivery in 2023" by Naval Group, explained the DGA in its press release.

Normally, and according to a new schedule established to take into account the delays due to the covid-19 pandemic, this second Barracuda-type ANS should have been handed over to the French Navy in the second half of 2022. This deadline will therefore not have been met. This was announced by Joël Barre during his last hearing as Délégué général pour l'armement [DGA] in July.

Now that the steam generated by the reactor will power its turbines, the Duguay-Trouin will undergo, in the coming weeks, flotation tests and will carry out its first static dives in order to verify its watertightness as well as its stability, both longitudinal and transverse. Only after this phase, during which its on-board systems will also be checked, will it begin its sea trials, probably from January/February 2023, if the 'track record' of its predecessor, the SNA Suffren, is anything to go by.

The latter's trials lasted six months, and were complicated by health measures related to the covid-19 pandemic [and a return to dry dock for 'technical adjustments' to its manoeuvrability]. With the experience gained, those of the Duguay-Trouin could take less time. In any case, it should be delivered to the French Navy next summer at the latest.

Moreover, the Strategic Oceanic Force [FOST] has no room for manoeuvre, as Admiral Vandier, the Chief of Staff of the French Navy [CEMS] recently pointed out. "We are going to go down to four SNAs for the next two years, taking into account the rate of repair of the five submarines we have and the deliveries of the next ones," he told MPs.

As a reminder, with a weight of 5,300 tonnes when submerged, a length of 99 metres and a diameter of 8.8 metres, a Barracuda-type ANS is equipped with the latest technological innovations [automation, optronic mast, digitisation, use of artificial intelligence, etc].

More discreet than a Rubis class submarine, it has increased manoeuvrability thanks to the X-bars of its steering gear. As its performance is confidential [it can navigate at a depth of more than 300 metres], it is armed with naval cruise missiles [MdCN], F-21 wire-guided heavy torpedoes, modernised Exocet SM39 anti-ship missiles and mines. Thanks to its Dry Deck Shelter, it houses a third-generation submarine thruster [PSM3G], used by the Hubert marine commando.

According to the DGA, the other four submarines in the programme [Tourville, de Grasse, Rubis and Casabianca] are "currently at different stages of construction, with deliveries scheduled until 2030".

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
 
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