13 December 2016
The French ballistic nuclear submarine (SSBN) Le Téméraire has been transferred from Île Longue to Dock 8 of the naval base in Brest for scheduled maintenance and major modification work to prepare the submarine for the new M51 strategic missile. Le Téméraire is the last of the three French SSBNs to receive the upgrade, for which DCNS is the prime contractor.
For the next 18 months, DCNS teams will be carrying out the adaptation work for the M51 ballistic missile, along with the extensive refit maintenance operations involved in the vessel’s scheduled major technical shutdown.
In addition to the complete maintenance programme, carried out every 9 years on this class of submarine, and the adaptation to accommodate the new M51 missile, the navigation and combat systems will be upgraded. Because of their size (138m long, 12,500t), cutting-edge technologies, and the constraints relating to their use in operations, these submarines are among the most complex systems produced in the world.
Around 45 companies in the region around Brest and the West of France will contribute to the 4 million hours of work required for the overhaul. DCNS aims to complete the full programme in one month less than for the previous SSBN, Le Triomphant.