The Suffren-class submarines were developed to replace the existing Rubis-class and Amethyste-class boats and provide France with an enhanced sub-surface attack capability.

The French Marine Nationale has officially welcomed the Duguay-Trouin, the second Suffren-class nuclear-powered attack submarine, into active service. This vessel, part of the Barracuda program, enhances France’s naval capabilities with features like advanced optronic masts, pump-jet propulsion, and deep strike capacity with naval cruise missiles. Initially delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Duguay-Trouin underwent rigorous testing, including a shakedown cruise in various water conditions and a visit to Martinique. This class of submarines, slated to replace the older Rubis and Amethyste classes, is set to be the backbone of France’s submarine force through the 2060s, emphasizing France’s commitment to maintaining a cutting-edge and versatile naval presence.

The second Suffren-class nuclear-powered attack submarine (SSN) Duguay-Trouin (S636) entered “active duty” with the French Marine Nationale earlier this month. Developed as part of the Barracuda program, the vessel underwent sea acceptance trials just over a year ago.

Chief of staff of the French Navy, Admiral Nicolas Vaujour, announced via X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter, on April 4, 2024, “Today I declared the admission to active service of the Duguay-Trouin, the second submarine of the Suffren class. Faster, more durable, more versatile, more discreet. In the hands of our crews, it will become an outstanding fighter for future operations.”

The keel for Duguay-Trouin was laid down in June 2009 but construction was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The boat was finally rolled out of the submarine construction hall at the Naval Group shipyard in Cherbourg in November 2022 and delivered to the French Navy in July 2023 after her initial sea trials. 

Read more