France’s next-generation ballistic missile submarines expected to serve into 2090s

Photo: Naval Group

French armed forces minister Florence Parly has confirmed that development has begun on a new class of nuclear-powered, ballistic missile submarines for the French Navy.

The first of the four submarines that will be constructed by local defence firm Naval Group under the Sous-Marin Nucléaire Lanceur d’Engins de Troisieme Génération (SNLE 3G) — “third generation ballistic missile submarine” — is expected to begin operational service shortly following its delivery in 2035. The remaining three vessels will then be handed over to the navy at five-year intervals.

The SNLE 3G submarines will be designed to be capable of serving well into the 2090s.

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