×
Aircraft / Aviation Vehicles & Artillery Infantry Arms Warships & Submarines Military Pay Scale Military Ranks
HOME
NAVAL WARFARE
MODERN FLEETS
COUNTRIES
COMPARE
BY CONFLICT
BY TYPE
BY DECADE
COLD WAR
MODERN VESSEL

FS Saphir (S602)


Nuclear-Powered Attack Submarine (1984)


Naval Warfare

1 / 1
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.

Jump-to: Specifications

The French nuclear-powered submarine Saphir S602 was originally set to be named Bretagne.



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 01/02/2019 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.
The Rubis-class of nuclear-powered attack submarines for the French Navy was originally envisioned as an eight-strong group until two were cancelled, leaving just the six to be led by FS Rubis (S601). FS Saphir (S602) - the subject of this article - then followed as the second boat in the class, her construction beginning on September 1st, 1979. Originally intended to carry the name of "Bretagne", she was renamed "Saphir" in 1981 and launched on September 1st that same year before being formally commissioned into service with the French Navy on July 6th, 1984.

Sister boats in the class include Casablanca (S603), Emeraude (S604), Amethyste (S605), and Perle (S606).

As built, Saphir displaces 2,600 tons when submerged and 2,400 tons when surfaced. Her design reaches a length of 241 feet with a beam measuring 25 feet and draught of 21 feet. As a nuclear-powered submarine, her propulsion system is centered around a pressurized water, K48 series nuclear reactor and this is mated to 2 x turbo-alternators with 1 x electric motor driving a single shaft at the stern. The boat is also outfitted with 1 x SEMT Pielstick 8PA4V 185 SM diesel-alternators and 1 x auxiliary engine which supplies propulsion for surfaced traveling. With this arrangement, Saphir can reach speeds of up to 25 knots and range becomes essentially unlimited due to the nuclear technology. Endurance is limited by onboard food stores which can last the crew some 45 days at sea before requiring replenishment. The vessel has been tested to depths of 300 meters which broadens the tactical capabilities of the attack submarine considerably. The vessel is crewed by seventy personnel.

At the heart of every attack submarine is its armament and sensor/processing systems. As such, Saphir is appropriately outfitted with 4 x 533mm torpedo tubes to fire the F17 Mod 2 torpedo as well as the SM39 "Exocet" anti-ship missile. The boat can carry up to 14 reloads of each or a mixed set and can further be called upon to lay naval mines when needed. Processing systems including a DMUX 20 series multi-function suite, an ETBF DSUV 62C towed antenna array, the DRUA 33 series radar and the ARUR 16 system.

Saphir, like the other boats of the class, were stricken with slow speed and noisy operation from the get-go, leading to the AMETHYSTE ("AMEleoration Tactique HYdrodynamique Silence Transmission Ecoute") Rebuild program of 1989. the primary goal of this program was to reduce the acoustic signature of the boats - the Canadian Navy rejected the design themselves based not only on cost but also noisiness. Changes to the design included a more rounded nosecap (as opposed to the original blunt shaping), upgraded sonar fits, and revised electronics. Amethyste and Perle were the first boats granted the fixes with the other four boats following to the standard through work spanning 1989 into 1995.

To date, Saphir has led a rather low profile service life. In September of 2001, she was called to torpedo the Cold War-era T47-class destroyer D-Estree which had been relegated as a target. During COMPTUEX 2015, she was credited with the "sinking" of the U.S. Navy carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt during allied war games.

Saphir remains in active service as of this writing (2019) and makes her homeport out of Toulon. She, and her sisters, is set to be succeeded by the Barracuda-/Suffren-class boats under construction as of January 2019 (detailed elsewhere on this site).

Specifications



Service Year
1984

Origin
France national flag graphic
France

Status
COMMISSIONED
In Active Service.
Complement
70
PERSONNEL


Class
Rubis-class
Number-in-Class
6
VESSELS
Ships-in-Class


FS Rubis (FS Provence) (S601); FS Saphir (FS Bretagne) (S602); FS Casablanca (Bourgogne) (S603); FS Emeraude (S604); FS Amethyste (S605); FS Perle (S606); FS Turquoise (S607) (cancelled); FS Diamat (S608) (cancelled)


National flag of France France
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Submerged Attack
Traveling under the surface to search, track, and / or engage or reconnoiter areas.
Maritime Patrol
Active patroling of vital waterways and maritime areas; can also serve as local deterrence against airborne and seaborne threats.
Fleet Support
Serving in support (either firepower or material) of the main surface fleet in Blue Water environments.


Length
240.0 ft
73.15 m
Beam
25.0 ft
7.62 m
Draught
21.0 ft
6.40 m
Displacement
2,400
tons
Disp.Submerged
2,600
tons


Installed Power: 1 x K48 pressurized water nuclear reactor with 2 x Turbo-alternators and 1 x Electric motor drivign power to 1 x shaft.
Surface Speed
25.0 kts
(28.8 mph)
Range
Essentially Unlimited


kts = knots | mph = miles-per-hour | nm = nautical miles | mi = miles | km = kilometers

1 kts = 1.15 mph | 1 nm = 1.15 mi | 1 nm = 1.85 km
4 x 533mm torpedo tubes with 14 reloads (F17 Mod 2 torpedoes IR Exocet SM39 anti-ship missiles. Also naval mines.


Supported Types


Graphical image of an aircraft aerial torpedo
Graphical image of an aircraft anti-ship missile
Graphical image of a naval mine


(Not all weapon types may be represented in the showcase above)
None.


Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2


Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective naval campaigns / operations / periods.

Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies


2021 Military Pay Scale Army Ranks Navy Ranks Air Force Ranks Alphabet Code DoD Dictionary American War Deaths French Military Victories Vietnam War Casualties

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com.

Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world, WDMMA.org, the World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft, and SR71blackbird.org, detailing the history of the world's most iconic spyplane.


Facebook Logo YouTube Logo

www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-