French submarine Rubis (S601)

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the Rubis submarine
Namesake: Ruby
Laid down: 11 December 1976
Launched: 7 July 1979
Christened: as Provence
Commissioned: 23 February 1983
Renamed: renamed Rubis in 1993
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)
Range: -
Endurance: 45 days
Test depth: over 300 m
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • DMUX 20 multifonction
  • ETBF DSUV 62C towed antenna
  • DSUV 22 microphone system
  • DRUA 33 radar
Electronic warfare
& decoys:

Le Rubis (S 601 ; ex Provence) is a first-generation nuclear attack submarine and head of the Rubis-class series of the French Navy assigned to the attack nuclear submarine squadron and named after French submarine Rubis which distinguished capability during World War II.


Originally namesaked Provence and was renamed Rubis on 18 December 1980. Being the lead ship of the class, fine-tuning was long, notably needing over 1000 hours of underwater testing before commissioning. Fielded on December 11, 1976 and launched on July 7, 1979.

Active service[edit]

The Rubis commenced active service on February 23, 1983.

In 1985 she evacuated three DGSE agents who sailed to New Zealand on the yacht Ouvéa to participate in the bombing of Rainbow Warrior, then scuttled their yacht.

Later in 1991, the Rubis formed part of the French naval contribution to the Gulf War. Between September 1992 and July 1993, Rubis undertook a major refitting which upgraded to the level of the Améthyste. Soon after, on 17 July 1993, the Rubis collided with the tanker Lyria, as the Rubis was surfacing, causing minor damages and injuries.

The Rubis also took part in Operation Trident, the 1999 bombing campaign over Yugoslavia, by protecting the aeronaval group. Along with the Améthyste, the boat was one of the two submarines who interdicted the Kotor straits to the Serbian Navy, thus effectively forbidding its use. The boat also gathered information for the coalition.

In 2002, the Rubis protected Task Force 473 in the Indian Ocean, during Operation Hercules, the naval part of the invasion of Afghanistan.

On 18 July 1996, the fourragère of the Ordre de la Libération was awarded to the submarine and the crew, as a legacy of the Rubis of the Second World War, which had been awarded the medal.

On 30 March 2007, while submerged, Rubis hit the bottom, damaging her bow and sonar. The boat returned to operations in July 2008.[2]

Rubis was expected to be decommissioned in the beginning of 2017 but underwent modernization and has returned to service as of 2019.[3]


Since June 5, 2012, the fanion of Rubis was decorated with the Cross for Military Valour with one palm.

See also[edit]

References and notes[edit]