Alternative Cold War History 1994

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French Submarines

France, like Britain maintains a small fleet of submarines covering the full gamut of capabilities. The Redoubtable class nuclear powered Ballistic Missile submarines (SSBN) provide much of France’s strategic deterrence, the Rubis class nuclear powered fleet boats (SSN) provide operational flexibility while the small diesel powered Agosta class (SSK) provide the ability to operate in shallow coastal waters.

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Redoutable Class: These SSBN (SNLE in French) form the naval arm of the French strategic nuclear triad. The lead boat Redoutable is in reserve while the five remaining boats have been heavily upgraded (Foudroyant completed in 1993) to fire the much improved M4 Ballistic missile with six MIRV (Multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicle) warheads of 150 Kilotons. Generally, two boats are on patrol, one is refitting and the other two are preparing for patrol at all times. The replacement class of SSBNs Le Triomphant, is under construction and the five remaining Redoutable class will retire as the four new boats are commissioned beginning in 1997.

Pennant Class Ship Status Location Task
S 611 Redoutable Redoutable Reserve Brest
S 612 Redoutable Terrible Active Brest Deterrence
S 610 Redoutable Foudroyant Active Brest Deterrence
S 613 Redoutable Indomptable Active Patrol Deterrence
S 614 Redoutable Tonnant Refitting Deterrence
S 615 Redoutable Invlexible Active Patrol Deterrence

Rubis Class: The smallest SSNs ever built, they are based on the same hull design as the Agosta class SSK with a French designed reactor. Initially four boats were built in the 1980s with four improved Amethyste Class ordered but only two commissioned in 1992 and 1993. All four of the original boats were upgraded with equivalent systems and hull design to the Amethyste boats, the last is still undergoing that refit. In Northern Fury, the last two Amethyste boats have not been canceled and are still building. In addition to torpedoes, these boats can fire the Exocet Anti-Ship Missile (ASM)

Pennant Class Ship Status Location Task
S 601 Rubis Rubis Active Mediterranean Foch BG
S 602 Rubis Saphire Active Indian Ocean CTF 151
S 603 Rubis Cassabianca Active Port
S 604 Rubis Emeraude Refitting
S 605 Amethyste Amethyste Active Pacific New Caledonia
S 606 Amethyste Perle Active Atlantic Bay of Biscay
S 607 Amethyste Turquoise Building March 94
S 608 Amethyste Diamant Building June 95

Agosta class: These small, maneuverable and very quiet boats represent the last conventionally powered submarines built by France. Their four torpedo tubes are unique, they can operate quietly at any depth and speed and have all been refitted to fire the Exocet ASM. La Praya has the capacity to fit a removable swimmer delivery compartment, similar to the US Dry Dock Shelter (DDS)

Pennant Class Ship Status Location Task
S 620 Agosta Agosta Active Atlantic Bay of Biscay
S 621 Agosta Bévéziers Active Adriatic Op Sharp Guard
S 622 Agosta La Praya Active Port
S 623 Agosta Ouessant Active Atlantic Azors