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.

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