French submarine Saphir (S602)

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FS Saphir 03.jpg
Name: Le Saphir
Namesake: Sapphire
Laid down: 1 September 1979
Launched: 1 September 1981
Commissioned: 6 July 1984
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 (64,000 hp)) ; 2 turbo-alternators ; 1 electric motor (7 MW (9,400 hp)); one propeller
  • 1 diesel-alternator SEMT Pielstick 8 PA 4V 185 SM; one auxiliary engine, 5 MW (6,700 hp).
Speed: over 25 knots (46 km/h; 29 mph)
Endurance: 45 days
Test depth: over 300 m (980 ft)
  • 10 officers
  • 52 warrant officers
  • 8 petty officers
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • DMUX 20 multifonction
  • ETBF DSUV 62C towed antenna
  • DRUA 33 radar
Electronic warfare
& decoys:

Le Saphir is a first-generation nuclear attack submarine of the French Navy. The boat was to be named Bretagne, however was renamed Le Saphir in 1981 before commissioning.

The boat is the second of the Rubis series. Between October 1989 and May 1991, the boat undertook a major refit which revolved around upgrades to the level of the lead vessel in the class, Améthyste.

Service history[edit]

In September 2001, the boat torpedoed and sank the ex-destroyer D'Estrées expended as a target ship off Toulon.

On 6 March 2015 it was reported that in a later erased blogspot of the French Navy and Defense Ministry that during a recent training exercise off Florida Saphir, in her role as part of the "enemy" attack group, had "sunk" the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt and its escort.[2]


The fanion of Le Saphir and the men's boat were decorated with the Cross for Military Valour with bronze palm on June 5, 2012.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "SSN Rubis Amethyste Class, France". Retrieved 11 July 2015. 
  2. ^ "U.S. aircraft carrier and part of its escort "sunk" by French submarine during drills off Florida". 5 March 2015. Retrieved 12 August 2016.