PARIS ― France is to acquire a fifth Barracuda nuclear attack submarine, the Armed Forces Ministry confirmed in a May 7 statement.

The decision was made during a May 2 ministerial investment meeting held by Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly.

Adm. Christophe Prazuck, the French Navy chief of staff, told the parliamentary defense committee in October he expected the fifth boat to be ordered in 2018.

The draft 2019-2025 multiyear budget law includes funding for six Barracuda boats, of which four are due to be delivered by 2025, the ministry said.

The Barracuda will be armed with naval cruise missiles and be capable of deploying special forces while underwater.

Delivery of the Suffren, the first-of-class Barracuda, is due in 2020, some three years late.

More In Naval
Chinese-Russian task force sails around Japan
A joint Chinese-Russian naval armada has sailed around Japan following a joint exercise in the Sea of Japan, sailing through a narrow international waterway between two of Japan’s main islands.
Eastern Shipbuilding opens new C5I integration facility for offshore patrol cutter
With the offshore patrol cutter slated to get a top-of-the-line C5ISR system, Northrop Grumman and its industry partners will work through integrating the whole system at this spacious new facility ahead of installing the gear onto the ship hulls themselves, to catch any integration hiccups early and save time and money during sea trials.