French Nuclear Submarine ‘Suffren’ Fires MdCN Cruise Missile

  • Our Bureau
  • 10:58 AM, October 21, 2020
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French Nuclear Submarine ‘Suffren’ Fires MdCN Cruise Missile
Suffren nuclear submarine (image: Naval Group)

The French Navy’s first nuclear-powered attack submarine (SSN) Suffren test-fired a long-range, stand-off cruise missile, MdCN (Missile De Croisière Naval – naval cruise missile), today.

“The Suffren has just successfully fired a naval cruise missile (MdCN) test. A real strategic break. Proud of our sailors, the French Armament Directorate (DGA) and our industry,” Florence Parly, French Minister of the Armed Forces, tweeted today.

The MdCN missiles are a naval variant of air-launched Storm Shadow/ SCALP cruise missile developed by MBDA. The missile is primarily meant for French Navy. The MdCN is of two specifications: vertically-launched variant and underwater-launched variant for the Barracuda nuclear-powered attack submarines.

The Suffren commenced sea trials this April. The boat’s weapon systems - a F21 heavyweight torpedo, SM39 Exocet Block 2 Mod 2 anti-ship missile and the naval cruise missile will be evaluated in Toulon.

French Nuclear Submarine ‘Suffren’ Fires MdCN Cruise Missile

Launched in 1998, 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 delivery of the six submarines will span one decade beginning in 2020.

Technical characteristics of Suffren-class submarines:

• Surface displacement: 4,700 tonnes
• Diving displacement: 5,200 tonnes
• Length: 99 metres
• Diameter: 8.8 metres
• Armament: naval cruise missiles, F21 heavy-weight wire-guided torpedoes, modernized
• 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
• Crew: 65 crew members + commandos
• Availability: > 270 days per year

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