While US ballistic missile subs are designated SSBNs, the official French designation is SNLE-NG (Sous-Marin Nucléaire Lanceur d'Engins de Nouvelle Génération).
Since 1972, ’Île Longue (Long Island) located in the Atlantic harbor at Brest, has been the homeport of France's 4 ballistic missile subs. ’Île Longue provides maintenance between deterrent patrols as well as depots for storage of nuclear warheads and reactor fuel. Naturally the’Île Longue base is home to two or more highly-classified nuclear installations.
The French ballistic missile submarine Triomphant (S616) entered active service in March of 1997. On a night in early February of 2009, Triomphant collided with the Royal Navy submarine HMS Vanguard. Le Triomphant, the oldest of its class, reportedly proceeded to Brest submerged with extensive damages to her sonar dome.
This will probably not be news to members of various wardrooms, sub groups, etc. and others with access to classified intel.
Belated News that dies or Sketchy Leak with Legs?
Published November 21, 2015 | By Editor -
(The incident dates back to August 2015):
Île Longue. Un incendie sur le Triomphant en travaux (untranslated)
Reportedly, a fire broke out in the boiler of nuclear submarine Le Triomphant which was docked in its base Ile Longue (Finistère). Since August 4, the crew has resumed onboard operations with normal work restored.
M.E. Note: Readers need to be aware of a language peculiarity we found. Apparently, the term "boiler" can be confused in translation with "nuclear reactor vessel". Decide for yourselves:
"Nuclear boiler" [reactor fire ? ]. See what we mean? It is very easy to understand why a related incident in a strategic nuclear sub would have been highly classified by national secrecy and placed beneath the reach of the French press.
What is very difficult to understand is the misplaced patriotism or political leanings of those responsible for leaking such an item in the midst of France's internal terrorism scare.
To those enemies of France and the free world Molten Eagle says,
Vive la France ! (translation: Long live France!)
Submarines are always silent and strange.
Labels: (S616), brest, fire, France, HMS Vanguard, intel, Le Triomphant, nuclear boiler, reactor, secret, SNLE-NG, sonar dome, sub groups, UK, wardrooms