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Redoutable-class submarine (1967)
FS Redoutable.jpg
Class overview
Name: Redoutable
Builders: DCNS
Operators:  French Navy
Preceded by: Gymnote
Succeeded by: Triomphant
Completed: 6
General characteristics
Type: Ballistic missile submarine
Displacement: 8,000 tons (submerged)
Length: 128 m (420 ft)
Beam: 10.6 m (35 ft)
Draught: 10 m (33 ft)
Propulsion: One PWR
16,000 shp (12,000 kW)
Speed: over 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph)
Range: Unlimited distance; 20–25 years
Complement: 15 officers
120 sailors
Sensors and
processing systems:
1 DRUA 33
1 DMUX 21
1 DUUX 5
ARUR 12 radar detector
Armament: 16 × M4 MSBS (Mer Sol Balistique Stratégique) nuclear missiles
4 × 533 mm (21.0 in) torpedo tubes
F-17 and L-5 torpedoes
SM-39 Exocet

The Redoutable-class submarine is a ballistic missile submarine class of the French Marine Nationale. In French, the type is called Sous-marin Nucléaire Lanceur d'Engins (SNLE), literally "Missile-launching nuclear submarine". When commissioned, they constituted the strategic part of the naval component of the French nuclear triad, then called Force de frappe (the aircraft carriers Clemenceau and Foch constituting the tactical part). The class entered active service in 1971 with Redoutable, six submarines were built in total. All have since been decommissioned. The structural changes in Inflexible have seen it regarded as a different class from the early boats. The class has been superseded by the Triomphant class, firing the larger M45 missile (M51 from around 2010).

The first submarine, Redoutable, was ordered in 1963, built at Cherbourg, launched in 1967 and commissioned in 1971. Later submarines were very heavily upgraded from 1985 to fire the 2nd generation MIRV capable M4 missile - Tonnant was recommissioned in 1987; Indomptable in 1989; Terrible in 1990; and Foudroyant in 1993.

Ship list:

  • Redoutable (1971–1991)
  • Terrible (1973–1996)
  • Foudroyant (1974–1998)
  • Indomptable (1976–2003)
  • Tonnant (1980–1999, first M2 submarine)
  • Inflexible (1985–2008, first M4 submarine)

External Links/Sources

  • An Illustrated Guide to Modern Submarines by David Miller

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