French submarine Améthyste (S605)

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FS Amethyste (S 605).jpg
L'Améthyste arriving in Norfolk
Name: Améthyste
Namesake: Amethyst
Laid down: 31 October 1983
Launched: 14 May 1988
Commissioned: 3 March 1992
In service: 20 March 1992
Homeport: Toulon
Fate: In active service
General characteristics
Class and type: Rubis class submarine
Displacement: 2600 t (2400 t surfaced)
Length: 73.6 m (241 ft)
Beam: 7.6 m (25 ft)
Draught: 6.4 m (21 ft)
  • Pressurised water K48 nuclear reactor (48 MW) ; 2 turbo-alternators ; 1 electric engine (7 MW); one propeller
  • 1 diesel-alternators SEMT Pielstick 8 PA 4V 185 SM; one auxiliary engine, 5 MW.
Speed: over 25 knots (46 km/h; 29 mph)
Range: 8,500 nautical miles (15,700 km; 9,800 mi)
Endurance: 60 days
Test depth: over 300 m
  • 8 officers
  • 52 warrant officers
  • 8 petty officers
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • DMUX 20 multifonction
  • ETBF DSUV 62C tugged antenna
  • DSUV 22 microphone system
  • DRUA 33 radar
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
  • 4 × 533mm tubes[1]
  • total mixed load of 14;

L'Améthyste is a nuclear-powered attack submarine of the French Navy, the fifth of the Rubis type. The boat's name is a pun on a precious stone (Amethyst) and the acronym AMElioration Tactique, HydrodYnamique, Silence, Transmission, Ecoute ("Tactical, hydrodynamics, silence and transmission improvements"). The boat is most likely the first vessel to serve in the French submarine fleet under that namesake.

The boat is a major upgrade upon the initial design of the Rubis type, and earlier units have since been refitted to meet her standards.

The Améthyste also took part in Operation Allied Force, the 1999 bombing campaign over Yugoslavia, by protecting the NATO aeronaval group. Along with the Rubis, the boat was one of the two submarines that interdicted the Kotor straits to the Serbian Navy, thus effectively forbidding their use. The boat also gathered information for the coalition.[2][3]

The submarine Améthyste was part of the French naval task group led by the Charles de Gaulle that departed Toulon on 30 October 2010 for a four-month deployment to the Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea, Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf.[4][5] The task group commander, Rear Admiral Jean-Louis Kerignard, defined force's mission as follows:

"The force would help allied navies fight piracy off the coast of Somalia and send jets to support NATO in the skies above Afghanistan."[6]

Once on station, the Charles de Gaulle carrier task group joined two U.S. Navy carrier strike groups led by the Nimitz class aircraft carrier aircraft carriers USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) and USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) operating in the Persian Gulf.[6] Subsequently, between 7–14 January 2011, the French carrier task group led by the Charles de Gaulle participated with bilateral naval exercise, code named Varuna 10, with the Indian Navy. Indian naval units participating in Varuna 10 included the aircraft carrier Viraat, the frigates Godavari and Ganga; and the diesel-electric submarine Shalki. Varuna 10 was a two-phase naval exercise, with the harbor phase taking place between 7–11 January and the sea phase between 11–14 January in the Arabian Sea.[5]


The fanion of Améthyste is decorated:

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^
  2. ^ (in French) Histoire et actualités du SNA Améthyste Archived 2008-07-19 at the Wayback Machine,
  3. ^ (in French) Sous-marin nucléaire d'attaque Améthyste Archived 2008-05-21 at the Wayback Machine,
  4. ^ "Fifth Deployment for French Charles de Gaulle Aircraft Carrier". Defense Professional. November 3, 2010. Retrieved 2010-11-12.
  5. ^ a b Vivek Ragahuvanshi (January 6, 2011). "Indo-French Naval Exercises Set To Start". DefenseNews. Retrieved 2011-01-10.
  6. ^ a b "French warship to join US fleet in PG". France. PressTV. October 28, 2010. Archived from the original on 2010-11-01. Retrieved 2010-11-12.