Marine Nationale (French Navy) Rubis class nuclear powered attack submarine FS PERLE S 606 has finally returned to active service after nearly four years.
She was undergoing a routine maintenance and refit cycle in 2019 which suffered severe damage to her bow after a devastating fire onboard on 12th June, 2020 that required extensive repairs. No injuries were reported, and there were no live weapons, nuclear fuel, or batteries on board in accordance with navy drydocking protocol.
This included fusing together a new nose taken from a decommissioned Rubis class submarine, the former FS SAPHIR of which actually ended up lengthening the submarine by 4 feet 6 inches since SAPHIR is slightly longer than a standard Rubis.
After the new hull was welded in place, the inner decks were reconstructed, hundreds of cables and manifolds that run from bow to stern were spliced, and the nuclear core was reloaded. The submarine combat system was also upgraded.
To aid in the repairs, Naval Group developed a 3D digital twin of FS PERLE which enabled electricians and pipe fitters to rehearse their movements in virtual reality before they carried out any actual repairs on the submarine.
All images are of FS AMETHYST S 605 off Grand Harbour, Malta and off Misurata, Libya during the Libyan Uprising back in 2011.