Thursday, January 29, 2015
French submarine Redoutable (S611) Redoutable was the lead ship of her class of ballistic missile submarines in the French Marine Nationale. Commissioned on 1 December 1971, she was the first French SNLE (Sous-marin Nucléaire Lanceur d'Engins, "Device-Launching Nuclear Submarine"). She was fitted with 16 M1 ballistic missiles, delivering 450 kt at 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi). In 1974, she 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). Redoutable ("formidable" or "fearsome" in French language) was the only ship of her class not to be refitted with the M4 missile. 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). She was decommissioned in 1991. In 2000, she was removed from the water and placed in a specially built 136 metres (446 ft) dry dock and in 2002, she opened as a museum ship at the Cité de la Mer naval museum in Cherbourg, France, being now the largest submarine open to the public and the only complete ballistic missile submarine open to the public (although several museums display small portions such as sails and/or parts of rudders from such submarines). You can tour the Le Redoutable,one of the only ballistic missile subs fully accessible to the general public, without security clearance on CNET HERE.