Naval Group has delivered a first batch of F21 heavyweight torpedoes to the Brazilian and French navies.
Announcing the deliveries during a press conference in Paris on 21 February, Naval Group said a first batch of six torpedoes was handed over to the French Navy in November 2019, in addition to an undisclosed number to the Brazilian Navy.
The F21 heavyweight torpedo is being developed by Naval Group for the Direction Générale de l'Armement (DGA) under the auspices of the Artémis programme, which was launched in 2008. It will replace the F17 Mod 2 heavyweight torpedo that equips the French Navy's current inventory of submarines. The system will also be operated by the Brazilian Navy on its new Scorpène-class diesel-electric submarines.
Naval Group has been contracted to deliver 93 F21 torpedoes to the French Navy.
The F21 has an overall length of 6 m and weighs 1,320 kg. The propulsion system is powered by a silver oxide-aluminium primary battery enabling a maximum speed of more than 50 kt over a maximum range in excess of 50 km.
Initial sea trials with a prototype were carried out in the Mediterranean in the first quarter of 2013. From 2013-14, about 10 test launches were conducted, after which launches were interrupted for a time.
Launches resumed in 2017. In June that year the F21 completed a successful qualification in the Mediterranean, and in May 2018 Naval Group announced that it had been launched from a nuclear-powered attack submarine (SSN) at DGA's underwater test range off the south coast of France. According to Naval Group, the F21 used for this trial was identical to those under production for the French Navy.
A launch from France's first Barracuda SSN, Suffren , is expected to take place in 2020, Naval Group officials told Jane's .
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