Home Europe Fire breaks out aboard French nuclear-powered submarine Perle

Fire breaks out aboard French nuclear-powered submarine Perle

Firefighters putting out the fire on FS Perle at Toulon Naval Base on June 12. Photo: French Maritime Prefecture Mediterranean

A fire broke out in the forward section of the French Rubis-class nuclear-powered submarine FS Perle on June 12.

The submarine was not at sea at the time of the fire outbreak, as it is currently undergoing a refit in a basin at the Toulon naval base.

The outbreak occurred at 10:35 am local time while firefighting efforts were still underway at the time of the writing, some ten hours later.

Florence Parly, France’s defense minister, confirmed on social media that no one had been injured in the incident, adding that she would head to Toulon “as soon as conditions allow”.

The French defense ministry earlier confirmed that there was no nuclear fuel on the submarine. It was removed as part of the boat’s technical shutdown which started in January 2020.

Perle is one six nuclear-powered attack submarines in service with the French Navy. France currently operates five units as the second unit in the series, Saphir (S602), was decommissioned last year. All Rubis-class submarines are scheduled to be replaced by the Barracuda-class submarines.

According to the French defense ministry, the refit of FS Perle is the final overhaul that will be carried out on a Rubis-class submarine as they gradually bow out of service.

French Navy file photo of a Rubis-class submarine at sea