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SMX-Ocean / Shortfin Barracuda

At Euronaval 2014, DCNS unveiled the SMX-Ocean conventionally powered attack submarine. The new vessel draws extensively on the design of a state-of-the-art nuclear- powered submarine, with a number of key innovations that give this diesel-electric adaptation truly outstanding performance.

This innovative concept ship promises submerged endurance and deployment capabilities that are unprecedented for a conventional-propulsion submarine. With up to three months endurance, an SMX-Ocean could cross the Atlantic six times without surfacing. Its transit speed is up to 14 knots. To achieve this level of performance, DCNS teams developed and combined a number of innovations including a high-performance air-independent propulsion (AIP) system using second- generation fuel cells for submerged endurance of up to three weeks.

The SMX-Ocean features the same combat system, provisions for special forces missions, masts and general layout as the Barracuda SSN. With a total of 34 weapons including torpedoes, mines, anti-ship missiles, cruise missiles and anti-air missiles, the SMX-Oceans firepower will be unprecedented for an SSK. The SMX-Ocean concept ship design also includes vertical launchers, another major innovation in SSK design, to provide a salvo capability for cruise missile strikes on land targets.

The SMX-Ocean offers more multi-role capabilities than any other submarine of its type. It can operate alone or as part of a carrier group or other naval deployment, and will be the only conventionally powered submarine with the ability to deploy special forces, combat swimmers, unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) and even unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

On 15 July 2015 DCNS announced it would propose the worlds most advanced conventionally powered submarine named the Shortfin Barracuda Block 1A as its pre-concept design for Australias future submarine Competitive Evaluation Process (CEP). The submarine takes its name from the Shortfin Barracuda, an indigenous species of the Barracuda found in Australias Great Barrier Reef. The Australian Future Submarine Program called for a regionally superior submarine. The requirements call for a new submarine, not one that is in existence today. The Shortfin Barracuda Block 1A, designed by DCNS specifically for the Royal Australian Navy, will be the recipient of Frances most sensitive and protected submarine technology and will be the most lethal conventional submarine ever contemplated.

Pump jet propulsion means the Shortfin Barracuda can move more quietly than submarines with obsolete propeller technology. In a confrontation between two otherwise identical submarines, the one with pump jet propulsion always has the tactical advantage. The sonar suite performance provided by Thales will be the best available ever for a submarine this size.

DCNS developed the Shortfin Barracuda with state-of-the-art technology from its larger cousin, the French Navys Barracuda nuclear-powered attack submarine, to meet the CEP requirements. While exact details remain confidential, DCNS can confirm the Shortfin Barracuda is over 90 metres in length and displaces more than 4,000 tons when dived, said Sean Costello, CEO DCNS Australia.

If selected the Shortfin Barracuda will remain in service until the 2060s and the Block 1A platform will be updated and upgraded with new technology developed in France and Australia, Costello said. The technical evolution of the submarine will be enabled by a strategic level Government to Government agreement between France and Australia. DCNS is the only submarine design company in the world to have design competencies in nuclear and conventional submarines, safely delivering submarines ranging from 2,000 tons to 14,300 tons to navies all around the world.

At the 2015 PACIFIC International Maritime Exposition, virtual reality demonstrations enabled visitors to learn more about the Shortfin Barracuda Block 1A, DCNS proposed platform for Australias Future Submarines. Designed specifically for the Royal Australian Navy, the Shortfin Barracuda is the worlds most advanced conventionally powered blue waters submarine. Visitors will be able to learn more about the submarines cutting edge technology, direct from Frances nuclear submarine program Barracuda.

On 30 November 2015 DCNS lodged its final deliverables to the Australian Governments Competitive Evaluation Process to select an International Program partner for the SEA1000 Future Submarine Program. The proposal includes a Government to Government Agreement from The French Ministe`re of Defences Direction Generale de lArmement (DGA) to the Commonwealth of Australias Department of Defence and a binding written commitment on key aspects of the deliverables.

This milestone was achieved on schedule and marks the beginning of the Commonwealth of Australias evaluation phase. Sean Costello, CEO DCNS Australia, said DCNS acknowledges the dedication from hundreds of people in France and Australia to the development of the Shortfin Barracuda Block 1A and a sovereign industry in Australia.... We have worked as a team to create the best possible solution for Australias future.

On 26 April 2016 the Australian Government selected DCNS as its preferred international partner for the design of 12 Future submarines for the Royal Australian Navy. The announcement was made by the Australian Prime Minister the Hon. Malcolm Turnbull, the Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon. Marise Payne, The Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, the Hon. Christopher Pyne and The Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Tim Barrett.

The Australian Government stated: The decision was driven by DCNSs ability to best meet all of the Australian Governments requirements. These included superior sensor performance and stealth characteristics, as well as range and endurance similar to the Collins Class submarine. The Governments considerations also included cost, schedule, program execution, through-life support and Australian industry involvement.

This success has been made possible thanks to the strong teamwork between the French Authorities, DCNS and our industrial partners, said DCNS Chairman and CEO, Herve Guillou. France and Australia have been allies for more than 100 years and we look forward to further strengthening this time honoured relationship and honouring the trust the Australian Commonwealth Government is placing in us for this ground breaking project, Guillou said. Subject to discussions on commercial matters, the design of the Future Submarine with DCNS will begin in 2016.

Maximum diving depth: Maximum speed:

BarracudaSMX Ocean Shortfin Barracuda
2014 2016
Power Plant
Length99.5 meters100 m ..
Height 15.5 m ..
Beam 8.8 m ..
Displacement, Surfaced4,765 metric tons4,750 t ..
Displacement, Submerged: 5300 tons .. ..
Head room  
Speed, submerged25+ knots20 kts ..
Operating Depth>300 meters 350 m ..
Autonomy70 days
Crew2 crews of 60
+ 10 passengers (commandos, personnel-in-training)
Armament Naval cruise missile (missile de croisire naval (MdCN)) based on Air Force SCALP EG.
Future heavy torpedo (FTL)
SM 39 anti-surface missile(exocet family)
FG 29 mine

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