- Le Triomphant class submarine
The "le Triomphant" class of strategic missile
submarines of the French Navyare currently being introduced into service to provide the sea based component (the Force Océanique Stratégique) of the French nuclear deterrentor Force de frappe, with the M45 SLBM. They are replacing the "Redoutable"-class boats. In French, they are called "Sous-Marin Nucléaire Lanceur d'Engins de Nouvelle Génération" ("SNLE-NG, literally "Device-launching nuclear submarine of the new generation").
They are roughly one thousand times quieter than the "Redoutable"-class vessels, and ten times more sensitive in detecting other submarines [http://www.netmarine.net/bat/smarins/triompha/index.htm] . They are designed to carry the M51 nuclear missile, which should enter active service around 2010.
The vessels are manufactured by
DCNand have a capacity of 16 M51 SLBMmissiles manufactured by Aerospatiale(now EADS Astrium Space Transportation.)
The French Navy's goal is to operate a force of four SSBNs (as with the
Royal Navy's "Vanguard" fleet), of which two are on patrol at any given time.
*"Le Triomphant" : Construction began on 9 June 1989; she was launched on 26 March 1994, and entered active service on 21 March 1997.
*"Le Téméraire" : Construction began on 18 December 1993; she was launched on 21 January 1998, and entered active service on 23 December 1999.
*"Le Vigilant" : Construction began in 1997; she was launched on 19 September 2003, and entered active service on 26 November 2004.
*"Le Terrible" : Construction began on 24 October 2000 was launched on 21 march 2008. She is expected to enter active service by 2010.
France and weapons of mass destruction
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