Home Europe France’s new nuclear-powered sub launches MdCN cruise missile for first time

France’s new nuclear-powered sub launches MdCN cruise missile for first time

French Navy submarine FS Suffren during sea trials
Photo: Florence Parly/Twitter

The first boat of a new class of French Navy nuclear-powered Barracuda submarines, the FS Suffren, has successfully test-launched the Naval Cruise Missile (MdCN) in the Bay of Biscay, the country’s defense minister announced in a social media post.

FS Suffren carried out the test firing of the MBDA-developed missile as part of its sea trials which started earlier this year. The submarine was launched in July 2019.

“The French submarine force is now capable of targeting land infrastructure over a long distance, in addition to striking submarines and surface ships,” armed forces minister Florence Parly said.

With a range of several hundred kilometers, MdCN has been devised for striking targets deep within enemy territory. It complements the air-launched cruise missile, Storm Shadow/SCALP, from which it is derived. In addition to Barracuda submarines, the MdCN is carried by FREMM frigates. MdCN is vertically launched from the FREMM frigates via the A70 SYLVER vertical launcher. On the Barracuda submarines, it will be launched through the torpedo tubes. French missile specialist MBDA started development of the MdCN under a contract awarded by the French defense procurement agency (DGA) in 2006.

During its sea trials, the FS Suffren also carried out tests of the submarine-launched Exocet SM39 anti-ship missile and the new F21 torpedo.