French Narval-class submarine
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Espadon in Saint-Nazaire
|Displacement:||1635 tons surfaced, 1910 tons submerged|
|Propulsion:||2 shafts, 2 × 7 cylinder diesel engines (4400 hp), 2 electric motors (5000 hp), re-engined with new diesels in 1965–1968|
|Range:||15,000 nautical miles (28,000 km) at 8 knots (15 km/h)|
|Test depth:||400 metres|
|Armament:||8 × 550 mm torpedo tubes: 6 bow & 2 stern, 14 torpedoes carried|
The Narval class (sous-marins d'escadre, "fleet submarines") were patrol submarines built for the French Navy in the 1950s.
Compared to the Type XXI, the Narval introduced an entirely new schnorchel system and novel detection systems, gained 33% in operational range on electric power (400 nautical miles, compared to the 290 available to the type XXI), and doubled the test depth. The propellers were also particularly studied to minimise noise.
The hulls of the Narvals were assembled from seven 10-metre sections wielded together.
The engine were two-stroke diesels made by the French constructor Schneider, which proved unreliable and noisy to the point where the engine section became difficult to man at full power.
From 1966 to 1970, the Narval underwent extensive modernisation, where their engines were replaced by a diesel-electrical design based on the SEMT-Pielstick 12PA4-185. The sour stern tubes were deleted, electronics were replaced, and the conning tower was replaced by a more modern sail plan from the Daphné class.
The Narval were used to explore limits of submarines performances in several ways.
In 1964, Espadon and Marsouin sailed up to the 70th parallel north to prepare the first French attempts at navigation under sea ice. These tests were carried out the next year by Dauphin and Narval when they spent a week and a half in the 72nd parallel north.
During her last years, from 1980, Requin was fitted with the sonar system planned for the M4 refit of the SNLE. Similarly, Dauphin was extensively modified from 1986 to be used as a test bed for equipment and sensors to be installed on the Triomphant-class submarines, then under design. When finally decommissioned in 1992, she was the oldest submarine in service. She was later expended as a target ship off Toulon.
In 1985, Espadon became the first French submarine used as a museum ship.
|S631 Narval||Arsenal de Cherbourg||1 December 1957||1986|
|S632 Marsouin||Arsenal de Cherbourg||1 October 1957||1987|
|S633 Dauphin||Arsenal de Cherbourg||1 August 1958||1992|
|S634 Requin||Arsenal de Cherbourg||1 August 1958||1985|
|S637 Espadon||AC Augustin Normand||2 April 1960||1985 - now a museum ship in Saint Nazaire|
|S638 Morse||AC de la Seine Maritime||2 May 1960||1986|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Narval class submarine (1954).|
- Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1947–1995
- Les sous-marins d'escadre type Narval
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