Sunday, 25 June 2017

French Navy’s new F21 heavyweight torpedo on qualification trials

DCNS: French Navy’s new F21 heavyweight torpedo on qualification trials

Photo: DCNS

Posted on June 22, 2017

French shipbuilder and defense contractor DCNS announced it has performed a “qualification firing” of the French Navy’s F21 heavyweight torpedo.

This move brings the torpedo another step closer to being fielded on the French submarines.

In addition to being fielded on the French new Barracuda-class nuclear submarines, the torpedo was expected to be ready for delivery to the navy for the entire fleet by 2016.

In an announcement from 2014, DCNS said a prototype of the weapon had been undergoing tests in the Mediterranean Sea since 2013.

The contract, under which DCNS was to deliver 100 of the torpedoes to the navy, was awarded by the French Defense Procurement Agency (DGA) in 2008.

The wire-guided torpedo is 6 meters long, weighs 1.5 tonnes and has a range of 50 kilometers traveling at speeds between 25 and 50 knots.

F21 is operated through the MIGAL fire control system which serves as the interface between the torpedo and the submarine’s combat information centre.

According to DCNS, the F21 will be fitted on the Brazilian Navy SSKs and is also launchable from ships.

F21 heavyweight torpedo

The F21 torpedo is the only new heavy torpedo development in the world. Its characteristics are significantly superior to all other heavy torpedoes currently in service. Beyond its exceptional performance levels, its on-board tactical intelligence makes this torpedo a precursor for what tomorrow’s underwater drones could be.


  • Diameter/length/weight: 533mm / 6000mm / 1.3 tonnes
  • Continuously variable speed up to > 50 knots
  • Autonomy of about 1 hour
  • Distance > 50km
  • Operational depth from < 10m to > 500m