Naval Group Commences Construction of France’s Third-Generation Nuclear- Powered Ballistic Missile Submarine (SNLE 3G)

Naval Group has initiated the construction of the first third-generation French nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine (SNLE 3G) with a symbolic steel-cutting ceremony at its shipyard in Cherbourg on March 20th. This milestone marks the beginning of hull production for submarines crucial to France's nuclear deterrence posture, intended to endure until the end of the 21st century.

As cornerstones of France's strategic oceanic force (FOST), SSBNs play a vital role in maintaining nuclear deterrence at sea. The SNLE 3G program, launched in February 2021, involves collaboration between the armed forces, the French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA), the French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA) for nuclear boilers, and the Naval Group, which is responsible for the overall project management.

Pierre Éric Pommellet, CEO of Naval Group, expressed pride in launching the hull production for the first 3rd-generation SSBN, emphasizing the commitment to French sovereignty and nuclear deterrence. The program's first follow-on contract, awarded in February 2021, covers development studies until the end of 2025, long lead time procurement, production of the first hull and boiler room components, and adaptation of manufacturing resources.

The construction involves unprecedented complexity, requiring the integration of nearly 100,000 devices and hundreds of kilometres of cables and circuits. With almost 90% of added value produced in France, the SNLE 3G program will sustain around 3,000 direct, highly skilled jobs across the country.

The SNLE 3G submarines will feature significant technological advancements, including enhanced stealth, extended detection capability, and high-performance weapons systems.

They are designed to ensure nuclear safety, security, and improved living conditions for sailors on board. Furthermore, the innovations will benefit the current French SSBNs (SNLE 2G) to maintain optimal performance throughout their operational life.

The SNLE 3G program represents a national endeavor, involving over 400 companies and 400 skills across France. It signifies France's commitment to maintaining a state-of-the-art naval deterrent capability, contributing to regional security and stability.





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