French submarine Redoutable (S611)

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Le Redoutable (S611)
FS Redoutable.jpg
Builder: DCN Cherbourg
Laid down: November 1964
Launched: 29 March 1967
Commissioned: 1 December 1971
Decommissioned: 1 December 1991
Homeport: Île Longue
Fate: Museum ship
General characteristics
Class and type: Redoutable-class submarine
Displacement: 8,000 tons (submerged)
Length: 128 metres (420 ft)
Beam: 10.6 metres (35 ft)
Draught: 10 metres (33 ft)
Decks: 3
Installed power: nuclear
Propulsion: One GWC PAR K15 PWR, 16,000 shp
Speed: over 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph)
Range: Essentially unlimited
  • 15 officers
  • 120 sailors
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • 1 DRUA 33
  • 1 DMUX 21
  • 1 DSUV 61B VLF
  • 1 DUUX 5
  • ARUR 12 radar detector
  • 16 M20 MSBS (Mer-Sol Balistique Stratégique) nuclear missiles
  • four 533 mm torpedo tubes
  • F-17 and L-5 torpedoes
  • SM-39 Exocet

Le Redoutable (S 611) was the lead boat of her class of ballistic missile submarines in the French Marine Nationale.

Commissioned on 1 December 1971, the boat was the first French SNLE (Sous-marin Nucléaire Lanceur d'Engins, "Device-Launching Nuclear Submarine"). The boat was initially fitted with 16 M1 MSBS (Mer-Sol Balistique Stratégique) submarine-launched ballistic missiles , delivering 450 kilotons at 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi). In 1974, the boat was refitted with the M2 missile, and later with the M20, each delivering a one-megatonne warhead at a range over 3,000 kilometres (1,900 mi). Le Redoutable ("formidable" or "fearsome" in French) was the only ship of the class not to be refitted with the M4 missile.

Le Redoutable had a 20-year duty history, with 51 patrols of 70 days each, totalling an estimated 90,000 hours of diving and 1.27 million kilometres (790,000 mi) of distance, the equivalent of travelling 32 times around the Earth.[1]

The boat was decommissioned in 1991. In 2000, the boat was removed from the water and placed in a purpose-built 136 metres (446 ft) dry dock,[1] and over two years was made into an exhibit. This was a monumental task, the biggest portion of which was removing the nuclear reactor and replacing the midsection with an empty steel tube. In 2002, the boat opened as a museum ship at the Cité de la Mer naval museum in Cherbourg-Octeville, France, being now the largest submarine open to the public[1] and the only nearly-complete ballistic missile submarine hull open to the public — although several museums display small portions, such as sails and/or parts of rudders from such submarines. Special dinner events for organizations aboard this boat's interior spaces are offered by Cité de la Mer.[1]

Le Redoutable at the Cité de la Mer

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Le Redoutable, le plus grand sous-marin visitable au monde!" [Le Redoutable, The largest submarine open to the public in the world!]. Cite de la Mer (in French). Archived from the original on 2012-06-13. Retrieved 2013-03-02.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 49°38′51.90″N 1°37′2.58″W / 49.6477500°N 1.6173833°W / 49.6477500; -1.6173833