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Apr 18 2024

French Naval Power getting ready for NEPTUNE STRIKE

TOULON NAVAL BASE, France – The French Navy allowed a rare look into one of their nuclear submarines while preparing for an upcoming NATO mission on Monday 15, 2024. 

International media and a JFC Naples team were allowed to visit one of three nuclear-powered RUBIS class attack submarines. Commissioned in the 1980s, it is operated by a crew of 70, and armed with anti-submarine/anti-ship torpedoes and anti-ship missiles. Its nuclear propulsion allows it to stay submerged and independent of outside support as long as the crew’s food provisions last. One full “tank” is enough for at least 20,000 leagues under the sea.

With that flexibility we are capable of responding to all demands made of us when a situation evolves

Onboard the visitors could witness how the crew prepares for a longer-lasting mission including replenishment and maintenance activities inside its narrow confinements. The space inside is tight and there is no room for privacy at all, which makes the submarine crew’s life extraordinary.

Inside the narrow confines of a French Navy RUBIS class submarine, the 70-man crew work together to prepare for their next mission. The collaborative effort is a vital part of gearing up for NEPTUNE STRIKE, where their sub-sea operations will be critical to NATO's integrated maritime strike capabilities..

Unlike any other naval asset, a submarine on its silent missions is able to carry out clandestine surveillance and reconnaissance tasks including the hidden transport of special forces, and to protect other larger subs and surface units such as the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle.

“With that flexibility we are capable of responding to all demands made of us when a situation evolves”, said Commander Manuel Bienvenu, the sub’s commanding officer.

The RUBIS class submarines will be replaced in the next couple of years by the new generation SUFFREN class attack submarines, which make the French fleet more efficient for future tasks.

Very soon NATO’s annual multi-domain activity NEPTUNE STRIKE will kick-off to demonstrate the Alliance’s ability to integrate joint high-end maritime strike capabilities of Allied aircraft carrier and expeditionary strike groups to support the defense of the Alliance in its 75th year.

For the duration of NEPTUNE STRIKE- and for the first time ever, the French Navy will transfer the authority for the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle and affiliated units like a RUBIS class sub under direct NATO command.

Within NEPTUNE STRIKE, the French RUBIS class submarine will play a significant role by conducting sub-sea surveillance and reconnaissance in the Mediterranean Sea in support of all involved sea and air units.

Story by JFC Naples Public Affairs Office

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