The French Minister of Armed Forces Florence Parly announced that the Navy’s Perle nuclear attack submarine will soon begin undergoing repairs, four months after it was destroyed in fire.
Experts from Naval Group, the Fleet Support Service of the French Navy and the Directorate General for Armament (DGA) agency had been analyzing the damage and reported that the submarine could be repaired, the defense ministry said in a statement.
Parly explained that it was the fore of the submarine that burnt and the high temperatures of the fire had altered the qualities of the steel. Aft of the vessel, the parts that house the nuclear power plant and propulsion, is intact.
The repair works will take place over the next six months. The undamaged aft of the vessel will be cut away from the damaged fore and then welded to the front of the Saphir, the nuclear attack submarine that was withdrawn from active service a year ago.
The Perle is part of France's six Ruby-class nuclear submarines and entered service in 1993. A fire broke out aboard the vessel while it was undergoing deep maintenance in the Mediterranean port of Toulon. The blaze was extinguished after 14 hours.
The vessel is expected to be operational by June 2023.