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Rubis-class submarine
FS Casabianca 03.jpg
The Casabianca
Class overview
Name: Rubis
Builders: DCNS
Operators:  Marine Nationale
Preceded by: Daphné class
Succeeded by: Barracuda class
In commission: 23 February 1983
Planned: 8
Completed: 6

S607 Turquoise

S608 Diamant

S601 Rubis (ex-Provence)
S602 Saphir (ex-Bretagne)
S603 Casabianca (ex-Bourgogne)
S604 Émeraude
S605 Améthyste

S606 Perle
General characteristics
Type: nuclear attack submarine
Displacement: 2400 t (surfaced)
2600 t (submerged)
Length: 73.6 m
Beam: 7.6 m
Draught: 6.4 m
Propulsion: Pressurised water K48 nuclear reactor (48MW) ; 2 turbo-alternators ; 1 electric engine (7 MW); one propeller
1 diesels-alternators SEMT Pielstick 8 PA 4V 185 SM - one auxiliary engine, 5 MW.
Speed: over 25 knots (46 km/h)
Range: Unlimited distance; 20–25 years

10 officers
52 warrant officers

8 petty officers
Sensors and
processing systems:

DMUX 20 active/passive sonar
ETBF DSUV 62C towed array passive sonar
DSUV 22 passive cylindrical array sonar with active transducer
DRUA 33 radar


[1] Anti-submarine : 4 x 533mm tubes.

  • total mixed load of 14;
    • F17 mod2 torpedoes
    • 14 Exocet SM39
  • Mines

The Rubis type is a class of first-generation nuclear attack submarines of the French Navy. They are the most compact nuclear attack submarines to date. All submarines of the class (except for Casabianca) are named after gemstones.


Although the Rubis belonged to the same generation as the Redoutable class, due to President Charles De Gaulle's insistence on acquiring a nuclear deterrent for France, the Rubis program was started only in 1974, after the ballistic missile submarine program. The first Rubis hull was laid down in December 1976 and launched in 1979. In 1987, the Canadian White Paper on Defence recommended the purchase of 10 to 12 Rubis or Trafalgar class submarines under technology transfer.[2] with the choice of the type of submarine due to be confirmed before Summer 1988.[3] The goal was to build up a three-ocean navy and to assert Canadian sovereignty over Arctic waters.[4] The purchase was finally abandoned in April 1989.


The initial design of the Rubis proved to be problematic with unexpectedly high noise levels. This led to the Améthyste silencing program (AMÉlioration Tactique HYdrodynamique Silence Transmission Ecoute) which was applied to the fifth (S605 Améthyste) and sixth (S606 Perle) hulls.

The Améthyste and Perle were both longer that the original Rubis, 73.6 metres as compared with 72 metres and the program included upgrades to the sonar, reshaping of the hull form and bow to improve silencing and additional upgrades of the electronics. With the upgrades tested and proven, the original 4 boats were rebuilt to the same standards between 1989 to 1995.

Operational history

During the Péan inter-allied manoeuvres of 1998, Casabianca managed to "sink" the USS Eisenhower and her Ticonderoga class escort cruiser[5]


They have a central computer system for submarine detection, processing of information, and firing of weapons. The hull is made of 80 HLES high elasticity steel. The sonar dome and the conning tower are made of composite materials. The submarines have two crews, "Blue" and "Red", who man the ships every three months in turn.

They will be succeeded by the 2nd-generation Barracuda class.


  • S601 Rubis : 20 August 1993 - Collision with oil tanker Lyria[6]
  • S604 Émeraude : 30 March 1994 - Steam leaked, 10 casualties.



External links

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