Nuclear submarine FS Suffren (S635)

Nuclear submarine FS Suffren (S635) 0Nuclear submarine FS Suffren (S635) 1Nuclear submarine FS Suffren (S635) 2Nuclear submarine FS Suffren (S635) 3

Basic information

Country of build:
Laid down:
Commissioned (service):

Ship measurements

4,765 t
Submerged displacement:
5,300 t
99.5 m
8.8 m
7.3 m


  • K15 nuclear reactor, 150 MW (200,000 hp)
  • 2 * Turbo-generator groups: 10 MW (13,000 hp) each
  • 2 * emergency diesel generators 480 kW (640 hp) each
  • 1 * pump-jet electrically driven
14 knots
Submerged speed:
25 knots
Submerged range:
70 days of food



Combat assets

  • Hull and flank sonar Thales UMS-3000
  • Velox-M8
  • 4 * 533 mm (21.0 in) tubes
  • 20 storage racks, including
  • MdCN cruise missiles
  • Exocet SM39 anti-ship missiles
  • F21 Artemis heavy torpedoes
  • FG29 mines

Suffren (Q284) is a French nuclear attack submarine. It is the lead ship of the Suffren class, stemming from the Barracuda programme. The vessel was laid down on 19 December 2007 and launched on 1 August 2019 at Cherbourg. It was commissioned on 6 November 2020; while full operational service had originally been anticipated in 2021, this was pushed back into 2022 after further testing/trials by the Marine nationale. Pursuant to testing the submarine was then declared fully operational on 3 June 2022.

Unlike previous French submarines, Suffren is not equipped with a periscope, but rather an optronic mast, which allows for much longer range and outside visible spectrum detection of targets.

A first for the French Navy is the ability to deploy a small underwater vehicle for special forces use (similar to the US Navy ASDS) thanks to a dry deck shelter. Previously special forces used torpedo tubes and handheld propulsion systems.

The ship also has the ability to use the MdCN ground attack cruise missile in its submarine borne version, launched via torpedo tube.

It is said to be ten times quieter than the previous generation Rubis-class nuclear attack submarine.

Suffren is optimized for a small complement thanks to extensive automation throughout the ship. While being twice the size, it has a smaller crew than the preceding Rubis class. This combined larger hull and smaller crew compared to the Rubis class makes this ship the first French submarine to be designed to allow women on board. It has very spacious separate living quarters for men and women.

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