June 12 marks three years since the nuclear attack on the submarine [SNA] During periodic downtime for maintenance and repairs, Perle was lost to a fire on her bow. [IPER], in Toulon. We were then afraid of steel deformation of its thick shell at the level of the boxes subjected to very high temperatures.
Three months later, according to studies carried out by the Naval Support Service [SSF] And the manufacturer concerned, namely the Naval Group, Ministry of the Armed Forces took a gamble to repair the Pearl, replacing its bow with the decommissioned SNA Saphir. After being meticulously prepared by a digital twin, carried out in Cherbourg, the operation promised to be very delicate, as welding two parts belonging to different ships had never before been attempted.
Be that as it may, after 350,000 hours of work, the operation was successfully completed. “We have extinguished the fire and Pearl is ready to resume its main technical shutdown”, welcomed the Ministry of Armed Forces in October 2021.
However, the submarine left Cherbourg a meter long and 68 tons. Enough to go through two additional premises… Back in Toulon, work on its main technical shutdown resumed where it had been abandoned by force of circumstances.
Then, in November 2022, after suffering a new “heat stroke”, fortunately without consequence, she was able to leave her basin under the responsibility of her “blue” crew. The French Navy commented that it was “an important milestone in the perspective of returning to the operational cycle”.
After that it was to carry out tests in the sea area [toujours susceptibles de donner lieu à d’éventuelles corrections… Et donc à un retour au bassin], then to restart its nuclear boiler room by inducing a fission chain reaction of uranium in the core of its reactor. Finally, the resumption of its operational cycle depends on the results of its sea trials.
gold, According to Var Matt, returned to the Pearl Sea on May 17 “to conduct the first stability and diving tests after its long-term maintenance.” A photo published by the Daily shows signs at his kiosk that he is about to perform a series of static dives. “This practice was important and routine as it marked the beginning of the submarine’s sea trials,” he recalled. SNA then returned to Toulon… before, no doubt, traveling again next week.
At any rate, the Commander-in-Chief of the French Navy [CEMM]Admiral Vandier promised that the SNA Perle would resume its series of operations in the summer of 2023. Incredibly aside, this race is on track to win, making it possible to have five functional SNAs, including Amethyst. Casabianca, emerald and pearl [classe Rubis] and saffron [classe Barracuda]It will soon be merged with Duguay-Trouin.