The SMX Ocean submarine concept was unveiled at EURONAVA 2014 in Paris. Image: ourtesy of DCNS.
The submarine will include a total of 34 weapons. Image: courtesy of DCNS.
The submarine can attack surface, underwater, land and aerial targets. Image: courtesy of DCNS.


SMX®-Océan, a conventionally powered attack submarine design concept, was unveiled by DCNS Group at the EURONAVAL 2014 exhibition held at Paris in October 2014.

The submarine concept is based on the basic Barracuda-class nuclear submarine layout including weapons, masts and combat system.

The SMX ocean submarine will be a transposition of the Barracuda SSN nuclear powered attack submarine into diesel-electric submarine (SSK).

It is expected to enter into French Navy’s service by 2017.

The multi-role watercraft will be suitable for deployment in anti-surface warfare (ASuW), anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-air warfare (AAW), land attack and Special Forces missions.

SMX Ocean submarine design

The Virginia Class new attack submarine is an advanced stealth multimission nuclear-powered submarine for deep ocean anti-submarine warfare and littoral (shallow water) operations.

The SMX ocean submarine will be based on the hull design of Barracuda. It will also retain the X rudder for increased manoeuvrability.

Special operations forces (SOF) equipment for 16 divers will be fitted to the watercraft, as will an internal reserved area, lock out chamber for eight divers, and an external watertight storage. It will also feature a dry dock shelter, hyperbaric chamber, swimmers delivery vehicle, and unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) dock.

The submarine will be ideal for carrying out carrier group escort roles in support of coalition operations in any theatre of operations. It will have the capability to remain underwater without needing access to atmospheric oxygen for long periods.

The watercraft will integrate sensors with manned or unmanned vehicles that provide capability to gather intelligence in four domains including air, surface, under the sea and on the land. It will be capable of launching UUVs and unmanned air vehicles (UAVs).

Tactical data-links that meet international standards will also feature on the submarine.

The hull of the submarine will have an overall length of 100m (330ft), height of 15.5m (50.9ft), and beam of 8.8m (28.9ft). Meanwhile, surface displacement will be 4,700t and the maximum operational depth will be over 300m.

Weapon systems

The submarine will be equipped with a total of 34 weapons of five different types including torpedoes, mines, anti-ship missiles, cruise missiles and anti-air missiles. Multiple weapons aboard the submarine will allow the engagement of surfaced and submerged targets, as well as aerial and land-based targets.

Vertical launchers will be included on the watercraft. These will provide salvo capability for cruise missile strikes on land targets.

Engines and propulsion

“The multi-role watercraft will be suitable for deployment in anti-surface warfare (ASuW), anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-air warfare (AAW), land attack and Special Forces missions.”

Power for the submarine will come from a diesel-electric power-plant and air independent propulsion (AIP) system. The AIP system will include second-generation fuel cells for underwater endurance of up to 21 days.

The submarine will be able to operate at an average transit speed of 14kt whereas the maximum diving speed will be 20kt. Endurance at sea will be 90 days without coming back to port.

The propulsion system will provide a maximum range of 18,000nmi (29,000km) at a speed of 10kt. Ideal range will be achieved by a mix transit at an average speed of 14kt during one week, one month on patrol with no snorting, and a mix transit back to initial harbour at 14kt during one week.

The Global Naval Submarines Market 2011-2021

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