In a recent press release, the French Navy declared that its Ruby-class nuclear attack submarine Perle returned to the operational cycle following a phase of repairs and maintenance.
The prolonged maintenance and repair activities phase started in 2019 when a fire suddenly broke out in 2020 (June) while the sub was at a dry dock at the Toulon naval base. Following a phase of damage recovery at Naval Group’s Cherbourg shipyard, maintenance activities resumed toward the end of 2021 at Toulon.
Perle started its dockside trials, leaving the dry dock in 2022 (November). By May 2023, sea trabeated was marked by the first-ever static dive carried out on 22 May at the harbour of Toulon.
During maintenance, Perle received several upgrades. It can now implement the F21 heavyweight torpedo designed originally for Suffren-class subs. During operational qualifications, the crew members will fire a practice F21 torpedo.
French Navy force structure
Per GlobalData intelligence, France has six active Ruby-class submarines that were acquired originally between 1983 and 1993. As part of the French Navy’s modernization efforts, SSN Perle now has an operational potential till 2028, the Ministry of the Armed Forces of France observed in its statement.
As with other military forces, France has recognized that the evolving threat matrix mandates a continuous modernization of technologies and capabilities for maintaining operational efficiencies on the modern battlefield. Recent armed conflicts and military engagements have demonstrated how tech supremacy plays an even more crucial role than it did in the 20th century. As such, it’s incumbent on France’s military to update the equipment to facilitate the continued viability of military tasks.
Gradually, threats are becoming harder to predict; the rate of non-state adversaries placing threats on states has fueled the growing uncertainty.
France needs to create and sustain an advanced fighting force that can promptly respond to multiple hybrid threats and act efficiently in the grey zone. This requires the procurement of cutting-edge technologies as well as the training of personnel in locating and responding to hybrid threats.
Reference: Eurasian Times, Naval News, Naval Technology
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