The cutting of the first plate for Barracuda n°2 in Cherbourg this morning marks the first milestone of the boat’s production cycle. The ceremony was attended by principal weapons engineer (IGA) François Pintart, head of the DGA’s Naval Management Unit, Jacques Chenais, head of the French Atomic Energy Commission’s Nuclear Propulsion department and Pierre Quinchon, SVP of DCNS’s Warships Division.
The Barracuda programme is one of the most important for the renewal of France’s naval forces. The new submarine’s mission capabilities will range from intelligence gathering to special operations (including the deployment of commandos and special forces), mine laying, anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare and land strikes, plus participation in joint operations wherever its interoperability and associated capabilities (discrete communications, tactical datalinks, etc.) are required.
The weapons payload will comprise a mix of next-generation F21 heavyweight torpedoes, SM39 anti-ship missiles and MDCN naval cruise missiles.
The DGA awarded the Barracuda contract to overall prime contractor DCNS and nuclear powerplant prime contractor Areva-TA on 23 December 2006. Barracuda-type SSNs will replace the current Rubis/Améthyste class between 2017 and 2028.
The DCNS Group is a leading European player on the world market for integrated warships. In response to customer demands for more comprehensive and integrated systems, DCNS acts as prime contractor for naval shipbuilding, integration and support by combining its own development, marketing and production capabilities with those of selected partners. To manage the complexity of such projects, the Group draws on in-house expertise in naval architecture and systems engineering, ship assembly and integration and equipment design and production, as well as through-life support. The DCNS Group employs 13,000 people and generates annual revenues of around EUR 2.8 billion.