Safran Electronics & Defense has been selected by the French defence procurement agency DGA to deliver an upgraded version of its global navigation system installed on the French Navy's Triomphant-class ballistic missile nuclear submarines (SSBN).
The improved version, which capitalises on extensive feedback from the existing laser gyro-based navigation systems, will use new technologies in order to offer higher and better performance than the current system.
The new version will be the first of its kind to mitigate the requirement for electrostatically suspended gyroscopes (ESG), which were primarily used for navigation on strategic platforms.
Being nuclear-powered, the French Navy's Triomphant class SSBNs have been developed to replace the L'Inflexible M4 Class ballistic missile submarines.
The propulsion system of the Triomphant class submarine features a nuclear turbo-electric system based on a Type K15 pressure water reactor (PWR) that has the capacity to generate 150MW of energy.
The vessel has a submerged speed in excess of 25k and a surface speed of 20k, while the diving depth of the submarine is over 300m and it has an endurance level of more than 60 days.
Equipped with four 533mm torpedo tubes, the vessel has the capacity to carry a mixed load of 18 ECAN L5 mod 3 torpedoes and Exocet missiles.
It carries 16 vertically launched M45 ballistic missiles delivered by French company EADS Space Transportation.
Safran Electronics & Defense has, so far, delivered inertial navigation systems for more than 500 surface ships worldwide.
Image: French Navy’s third Triomphant class ballistic missile nuclear submarine, Vigilant. Photo: courtesy of Marine nationale / Wikipedia.