The French Barracuda attack submarine is a smaller but still capable platform compared to other nations' submarines. One essential upgrade is that this type is nuclear-powered over the diesel-electric version but equally lethal when appropriately applied.
French smaller and sleeker design for the Barracuda-class
Compared to other heavier attack submarines, it is lighter but minor as long as it does its job as an attack submarine. The designers made it capable of arming itself with torpedoes and ship killer missiles. Coupled with these weapons, it becomes as lethal as the American Seawolf sub-hunter killer.
Like its namesake, this new addition to the French navy, Barracuda-class or Suffren-class, will be replacing the older Rubis-class that is nuclear powered as well, reported 19fortyfive.
Attack submarine design for the class is generally smaller and sleeker, suited for moving fast in the water when hunting bigger submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM) in a small 5,000-ton package.
The builders made it more prominent than the Rubis-class but smaller than the Seawolf-class and Virginia-class of the US or the UK's new Astute-class. Heaviest in the US submarines weigh at 8,000 tons, while the Astute's 7,500 tons displacement.
Notable features of the Barracuda-class
Influencing the submersibles size is how much use of installed automated systems in the French sub. For example, Virginia-class needs a total of 140 crew to function compared to the Barracuda-class of 65 only.
For some, the smaller crew is okay, but drawbacks might not be evident at first. The units are rotated faster, leading to more fatigue, a severe downtime in reaction time, and logistics problems for the French Barracuda attack submarine.
The Barracuda has an improved sensor array added to the bow sonar on all underwater vessels. Other sonar arrays are placed on the hull side below the sail, giving it a starboard and port sensor.
It is also an insertion vehicle for a small commando force, with the smaller vessel on piggyback at the back of the sail. The smaller commando carrier has space for 15-special operations soldiers.
The French navy has a smaller submarine but bristling with arms to the gills, added to its size and maneuverability to deliver missiles and torpedoes, cited Naval Technology.
But the design did not add vertical launch tubes that are different from other subs. Instead, the quartet of torpedo tubes launches missiles and projectiles to hit land or sea targets.
Still, the flexible choice of munitions arming the submarine is good but less than the Seawolf-class or Astute-class carries in it, dictated by the size of the vessel, which is one of its most pronounced negatives of the small submarine.
It would take more than one to match the American or British submarines, but there is always a philosophy to design.
Recently Australia just left a deal with France for diesel-electric submarines after the US and UK offered their wares. Canberra dropped the agreement and went for the other subs, not the French Barracuda attack submarine.