French Navy upgrade and discussion

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The Normandie multi-mission frigate fictitiously sank a German submarine during a NATO exercise.

(…) the Associated Press reported that a German Type 212 submarine was given the role of "attacker". Apparently, it did a good job of this, as it managed to fictitiously "torpedo" the Italian aircraft carrier ITS Giuseppe Garibaldi. However, he was unable to outmaneuver the FREMM Normandie, commanded by Commander [CF] Thomas Vuong.

For the sake of realism, the crew of the French frigate had not been warned of the attack the German submarine was about to launch. However, despite its discretion [the Type 212 is known to be very quiet...], the submarine did not escape the crew's vigilance. "We spotted its periscope [...] then it dived again", said CF Vuong.

The NH-90 Caiman helicopter then immediately took off to pinpoint the exact location of the Deutsche Marine submarine with its FLASH SONICS [Folding Light Acoustic System for Helicopters] low-frequency active sonar.

For its part, the FREMM also used its detection capabilities, based on a hull sonar and the CAPTAS 4 system, comprising a UMS-4249-type very low frequency (VDS) towed sonar and a linear antenna fitted with hydrophones.

The combination of these capabilities made it possible to accurately determine the position of the German submarine and... to attack it [fictitiously] with MU-90 torpedoes, launched by the FREMM Normandie.

"The frigate and its helicopter located the submarine accurately enough to be sure that it would not have survived if real torpedoes had been fired," reports the Associated Press.

According to CF Vuong, German submariners have a better knowledge of Norway's "deep, narrow fjords" than French sailors. "It's their playground. So they know the hiding places," he added.

Anti-submarine warfare is undoubtedly the most complicated area of naval combat, since it requires the finest possible knowledge of the marine environment. This varies according to several factors, such as temperature, salinity and the topography of the ocean floor, which is made up of several layers of water masses, some of which can be "non-detection basins" for a submarine. "The fjords are a special environment, with a temperature profile different from that of the Atlantic," explains FREMM Normandie's "pasha"
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Bouw nieuwe onderzeeboten voorlopig gegund aan Naval
Nieuwsbericht | 15-03-2024 | 13:24
Translated with (free version)
Construction of new submarines provisionally awarded to Naval Group

News release | 15-03-2024 | 13:24

France's Naval will build the new submarines for Defence. This is the provisional award decision after a careful tender process. On behalf of the cabinet, State Secretary Christophe van der Maat (Defence) announced the winning yard today at the naval base in Den Helder.

Equipped with the latest systems and technology, the new submarines are a worthy successor to the Walrus class. Van der Maat, together with the youngest sailor and the youngest officer of the Submarine Service, unveiled the names of the new submarines. They are His Majesty's Orca, Swordfish, Barracuda and Tiger Shark.

"Naval has managed to lay down a balanced, versatile and realistic bid. The yard has come up with a worthy successor to the Walrus class. This includes a solid role for Dutch industry, a key requirement in this award," Van der Maat stressed. "Not only in construction, but also in maintenance. So this decision is not only good for the navy and our security interests, but certainly also for Dutch companies and building our knowledge position."

More possibilities

The four new boats are a big improvement. Not only because the design is newer, but also on a host of other aspects. For instance, the ability to launch cruise missiles significantly increases the strike power.

With the latest sensors and communication systems, the new class is even better equipped than its predecessors to collect, analyse and share intelligence.

Intelligence can be decisive at every stage of a conflict and in peacetime.

Thanks to modern battery technology, the new boats also have greater energy capacity. This allows the boats to stay underwater longer and operate without 'snuffing'; recharging the batteries with the diesel engines. This makes them even quieter and less vulnerable to enemy detection.

Rare class

Like the Walrus class, the new submarines are deployable worldwide for different types of missions. Also like their predecessors, the new boats are relatively small, allowing them to operate in shallow water as well.

Because the boats are larger than submarines designed for operations close to their home base, they can also operate for long periods and independently far from home. This combination is rare and makes the Dutch submarines highly regarded within NATO.

Provisional award decision

Over the past few months, Defence has assessed the tenders. The outcome of the tender evaluation is an overall assessment and a provisional winner. After consideration of the tender evaluation in the House of Representatives, the supply contract will be signed.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate (EZK) assessed the proposals for an Industrial Cooperation Agreement (ICA). It aims to strengthen the Dutch Technological and Industrial Base (NLDTIB), consisting of some 1,000 companies. The winning yard has to contribute to this. Importantly, there must be agreement with the winning yard on the ICA. This is a condition for the award.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Dutch government and France will also be concluded. The MoU includes agreements on user rights, information security and knowledge exchange.

Safe passage

It is agreed with Naval that it will deliver the first 2 new submarines within 10 years of signing the delivery contract.

Defence has taken measures to ensure that the current Walrus-class submarines can sail safely through to the mid-30s. Two of the four boats will be phased out of service. This will keep spare parts available for the remaining boats, which will require more maintenance with age.
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The Dutch will received their first SSK years before Australia's SSN...

Irony is that Australia paid the R&D bill for the Dutch Barracuda.
Partly. The submarine variant offered to the Dutch is the "Blacksword Barracuda", not the "Shortfin Barracuda". No integration of Lockheed Martin combat management system instead of Naval Group's own SENIT for example.
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Partly. The submarine variant offered to the Dutch is the "Blacksword Barracuda", not the "Shortfin Barracuda". No integration of Lockheed Martin combat management system instead of Naval Group's own SENIT for example.
It's better.
Next interesting point will be to see who will deliver torpedoes and cruise missiles....
(…) Will it be nuclear electric propulsion or nuclear-steam propulsion?
it’s secret. if i tellya zen i have to killya

Will it be nuclear electric propulsion or nuclear-steam propulsion?
(…) The nuclear boiler room transmits the energy from the core, in the form of steam transported by the secondary circuit, to the turbo-alternators and the propulsion turbine, to propel the ship and supply it with electrical energy.
Will it be nuclear electric propulsion or nuclear-steam propulsion?

Maybe I'm misreading your question, or maybe I don't know what I'm talking about but...

Isn't steam involved either way? What the NEP setup does is to use a silent electric motor to turn the shaft instead of noisy reduction gearing. But it still needs the steam to juice the motor. They should call it nuclear-electric transmission to avoid the confusion.


The Barracuda/Suffren already uses NEP so I'd assume SNLE 3G would have it as well.