Following the delivery of two Scorpènes to Chile in 2006 and 2007, then another two to Malaysia in 2009 and 2010, others are now under construction in India and Brazil, where Naval Group is supporting local shipbuilders through technology transfer agreements. The first of India’s six Scorpène SSKs was floated out of the Mazagon yard in Mumbai in October 2015 and entered service in December 2017. Its first sistership followed in 2018. The others should be completed at a rate of one every 12 months.
The first of Brazil’s four Scorpène boats is due to be floated out in 2019 and to enter service in 2020. Construction is being managed by Itaguaí Construções Navais (ICN), a subsidiary of Naval Group, and the Brazilian Odebrecht group, the design consultant for the entire project, at the new purpose-built Itaguaí shipyard and naval base.
In addition to these ambitious programmes, Naval Group has submitted bids to supply Scorpène variants to other countries.
The Scorpène is extremely quiet and has earned a reputation as one of the world’s most capable SSKs. Benefiting from state-of-the-art technologies — many of them developed for the French Navy’s new-generation SSBNs and SSNs — the design features a streamlined hull and innovations to improve acoustic discretion. In addition to the Subtics combat system — one of the most modern on the world market — the Scorpène is equipped with new-generation sensors and optronic periscopes developed by Safran. It can also be equipped with both flank arrays and a towed sonar. The hull now incorporates a cofferdam and two refuge compartments. The highly automated design means reduced crewing and space for six commandos.
The Scorpène can accommodate Naval Groups’s new FC 2G second-generation fuel cell-type air-independent propulsion system (see facing page), offering significantly improved submerged endurance. With the FC 2G AIP, a Scorpène can remain submerged for two to three weeks, depending on the mission, without having to surface to recharge its batteries.
Thanks to its modular architecture, the Scorpène can be fitted with an additional new-generation lithium-ion battery compartment or lengthened (to a length overall of 71.6m) to accommodate additional fuel tanks offering increase range (an option chosen by Brazil). Other options include an outer layer of anechoic tiles, X-plan aft control planes, or launch tubes tailored to the length of different weapons, including torpedoes, anti-ship missiles, anti-air missiles (e.g. encapsulated Mica missiles), or MdCN cruise missiles. Provision for the launch and recovery of an uncrewed underwater vehicle, or UUV, is a further option.
Designer: Naval Group
- Displacement: 1,670 to 2,000 t
- Dimensions (m): 66 to 76 x 6.2
- Power: 2,800 kW
- Speed: 20 kts
- Accommodation: 31 (+ 6)
- Weapons: 18 - 6 x torpedo tubes (533 mm) for MdCN cruise missiles, SM39 Exocet missiles , F21 torpedoes, A3SM (Mica missiles)
More information in Mer et Marine Euronaval 2018 Special issue : "Naval Forces : focus on french technology" .