the French defence company Naval Group has announced the start of sea trials for the French Navy’s second Suffren/Barracuda-class nuclear attack submarine (SNA) Duguay-Trouin, off the Cherbourg naval base.

The SNA Duguay-Trouin is scheduled to undergo its maiden sea trials in the Atlantic, and then in the Mediterranean.

During these trials, the submarine’s technical and operational capabilities will be validated prior to its delivery, which is planned for later this year.

The trials are being performed by French Navy submariners under the supervision of engineers from the Directorate General of Armaments (DGA), the Commissariat for Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies (CEA), TechnicAtome, and Naval Group.

Prior to its initial sea voyage, SNA Duguay-Trouin underwent a series of successful dockside trials in Cherbourg, which validated the submarine’s systems and equipment, as well as its watertight-ness and propulsion.

The SNA Duguay-Trouin is the second of six SNAs acquired by the French Navy under the Barracuda programme, which was launched in 2006.

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The French Navy commissioned its first Barracuda-class nuclear attack submarine, SNA Suffren, in June 2022, while the remaining four, Tourville, de Grasse, Rubis and Casabianca, are scheduled for delivery by 2030.

With an operational life of over 30 years, the Barracuda-class submarines are capable of controlling all types of marine spaces, from the high seas to coastal areas.

The 99m-long Barracuda SSN has a surface displacement of 4,700t and a diving displacement of 5,200t. It is armed with naval cruise missiles, modernised Exocet SM39 anti-ship missiles, and F21 heavy-weight wire-guided torpedoes.

Powered by hybrid propulsion, the submarines can accommodate 65 crew members and commandos.