Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Naval Group delivers nuclear attack submarine Perle to the French Navy

Naval Group delivered the nuclear attack submarine Perle to the French Navy on 30 June after a period of unavailability for maintenance and repairs. This step marks the return of the building to the operational cycle.

This period of sea trials validated the repair and maintenance work in operational conditions carried out by the Naval Group. The SNA Perle is now ready for future deployments.

Perle is a first-generation nuclear attack submarine of the French Navy. The boat is the sixth and last of the Rubis series. Construction began on the submarine on 27 March 1987; the submarine was launched on 22 September 1990 and entered active-duty service on 7 July 1993.

In June 2020, the French Navy suffered a major mishap when the Rubis-class nuclear attack submarine SNA Perle was severely damaged by a fire while the submarine was in a dry dock at Toulon naval base. In October 2020, it was announced that the submarine would be repaired using the forward section of her decommissioned sister boat, Saphir.

The Pearl repair yard was an exceptional job in many respects. The hybridization of two submarines, with the replacement of the forward half of the SNA Perle by that of the ex-SNA Saphir, using cutting and welding processes mastered by the Naval Group, was a difficult task.

After unprecedented repair work carried out on the Naval Group site in Cherbourg using a procedure never used before, the SNA resumed its IPER in Toulon at the end of 2021. Perle began its dockside tests after leaving the basin on 10 November 2022. Then sea trials began in May 2023, which were marked by the first static dive carried out on 22 May in the harbor of Toulon.

During maintenance, Perle received a number of upgrades. It is now capable of implementing the F21 heavyweight torpedo initially designed for the SNAs of the Suffren type. The crew will fire a practice F21 torpedo during its operational qualifications.

Now, the submarine is declared ready to return to a regular operational cycle in the fleet until 2028.