Triomphant-class submarine

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Class overview
Name: Triomphant class
Builders: DCNS
Operators:  French Navy
Preceded by: Redoutable class
Cost: 17.1 billion(2009) in total, 3.1 billion (2009) for Terrible[1]
Planned: 4
Completed: 4
Active: 4
General characteristics
Type: Ballistic missile submarine
  • 12,640 tonne (surfaced)
  • 14,335 tonne (submerged)
Length: 138 m (453 ft)
Beam: 12.50 m (41.0 ft)
Draught: 10.60 m (34.8 ft)
Speed: over 25 kn (46 km/h)
Range: Unlimited distance; 20–25 years
Test depth: Over 400 m (1,300 ft)
  • 15 officers
  • 96 sailors
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • Sonar DMUX 80
  • Sonar DUUX 5
  • Sonar DSUV 61B Very Low Frequency
  • Racal Decca radar (navigation)
  • SCC : SET (Système d'exploitation Tactique) : tactical operational system
Electronic warfare
& decoys:

The Triomphant class of ballistic missile submarines of the French Navy is the active class of four boats that entered service in 1997, 1999, 2004, and 2010. These four supersede the older Redoutable class, and they provide the ocean-based component (the Force océanique stratégique) of France's nuclear deterrent strike force, the Force de Frappe. These ships are the most expensive submarines ever produced costing more than €4 billion. Their home port is Île Longue, Brest, Western Brittany.

Design and construction

The first three boats are all armed with the French-produced and armed M45 intermediate-range missile, and the fourth vessel, Terrible, has tested and is equipped with the more advanced M51 missile.[2] Each of the first three boats are to be retrofitted to the M51 missile standard, starting with Vigilant in 2010, then Triomphant and ending with Téméraire in 2018.[3]


In French, these are called Sous-Marin Nucléaire Lanceur d'Engins de Nouvelle Génération (English: "Next Generation Device-Launching Nuclear Submarine"), abbreviated as SNLE-NG. They have replaced all of the Redoutable-class boats, with the last of those six boats being decommissioned in 2008. These submarines carry 16 submarine-launched ballistic missile launching tubes apiece.

This class reportedly produces approximately 1/1000 of the detectable noise of the Redoutable-class boats (submarines), and they are ten times more sensitive in detecting other submarines.[4] Initially armed with the M45 missile, they are designed to carry the new M51 missile, which entered active service in 2010. As of October 2010, an M51 has been test-fired from one of these submarines across the Atlantic Ocean from near France to the west, and is equipped on Terrible.

These boats were all constructed by the DCNS, and they carry an armament of 16 M45 SLBM or M51 SLBM missiles manufactured by the Aérospatiale company (now Airbus Defence and Space), plus conventional torpedoes and Exocet anti-ship missiles.

List of submarines

The French Navy's goal is to operate a force of four ballistic missile submarines (comparable with the Royal Navy's Vanguard-class submarines), of which two of the French boats are expected to be on patrol at any given time.

Name Construction began Launched Commissioned
Triomphant 9 June 1986 26 March 1994 21 March 1997
Téméraire 18 December 1993 21 January 1998 23 December 1999
Vigilant January 1996 19 September 2003 26 November 2004
Terrible 24 October 2000 21 March 2008 20 September 2010[5]

Service history

On 3 February or 4 February 2009, Triomphant apparently collided with the Royal Navy submarine HMS Vanguard.[6][7] Triomphant was reported to have proceeded to Brest under her own power, submerged, but with extensive damage to her sonar dome.[citation needed]


See also


  1. "French Audit Report Reveals Weapon Prices, A400M Details". 18 February 2010. Retrieved 7 August 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. AFP: La marine française met un quatrième sous-marin nucléaire en service[dead link]
  3. "IA M51 : Chape de plomb sur le nucléaire". Mer et Marine. 4 October 2010. Retrieved 4 October 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>[dead link]
  4. Le Triomphant[dead link]
  5. "Le Terrible entre en service actif". Ministry of Defense (France). 1 October 2010. Retrieved 1 October 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>[dead link]
  6. [1][dead link]
  7. "Unthinkable". The Sun. London. 16 February 2009. Retrieved 7 August 2015. (Subscription required (help)).<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links