Home Europe French submarine Perle suffers second fire outbreak in 2 years

French submarine Perle suffers second fire outbreak in 2 years

FS Perle fire outbreak
Photo: French Navy

The French nuclear-powered attack submarine FS Perle suffered a second fire outbreak in a little over two years while undergoing repairs at the Toulon naval base.

The fire broke out around noon on September 26, in the food storage compartment in the front section of the submarine.

No injuries were reported in the incident, according to the French defense ministry, which added that the boat’s nuclear components were not at risk.

FS Perle is still undergoing repairs to damages caused by the first fire outbreak, which occurred in June 2020. The damage from the first fire appears to have been far more significant, and required the submarine to borrow sections from a retired sister ship.

In order to speed up the repair process, the French defense ministry decided in October 2020 to join the fore end of SSN Saphir – a submarine taken out of active service in July 2019, with the aft end of SSN Perle. This work was undertaken by French submarine specialist Naval Group in Cherbourg.

The submarine was undergoing finishing works in Toulon ahead of an anticipated return to sea. It is unclear how the fire outbreak on Monday will affect these plans.

Perle is one five nuclear-powered attack submarines of its class still in service with the French Navy. The boats started entering service in the 1980s and will be replaced by the newer Barracuda-class submarines, the first of which entered service this summer.