Submarines: August 12, 2001


France has decided not to begin work on a second nuclear-powered aircraft carrier until 2009. In the meantime, it will spend its naval funds replacing its old frigates with new multi-mission designs, nuclear-powered attack submarines, and cruise missiles for existing warships. The French Navy will get about $2.8 billion per year for new equipment and warships; the entire French Defense Ministry will get $11.3 billion per year. Considering that total French arms procurement in the last six years totals (not averages, totals) $10.6 billion, this is a significant increase. French Naval procurement through 2008 will include six new nuclear-powered attack submarines of the Barracuda class. These will be primarily tasked to attack land targets with missiles. Total cost of the six subs will be $3.6 billion. The Naval version of the SCALP missile will cost $1.3 billion; the French Navy wants 240 of them to arm frigates and submarines. Other spending through 2010 will include Rafale fighters for the carrier DeGaulle, a fourth nuclear-missile submarine, two Horizon-class air defense frigates, new M51 missiles for the ballistic missile submarines, and the new NH90 helicopter.--Stephen V Cole




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