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French submarine Amethyste visits US' Norfolk Naval Base.

| 2021

According to a tweet published by Chris Cavas on September 22, 2021, French Rubis-class nuclear-powered submarine Amethyste visits Norfolk Naval Base, United States.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 French Rubis-class submarine Amethyste (Picture source: Twitter account of Chris Cavas)

It's the first official contact between two Navies since the cancellation of the French contract between Naval Group and the Australian Department of Defence and the trilateral security pact AUKUS. The visit was planned long ago because, on September 9, 2021, the French submarine was at Submarine Base New London.

Améthyste is a nuclear-powered attack submarine of the French Navy, the fifth of the Rubis type. The boat's name is a pun on a precious stone (Amethyst) and the acronym AMElioration Tactique, HydrodYnamique, Silence, Transmission, Ecoute ("Tactical, hydrodynamics, silence and transmission improvements"). The boat is a major upgrade upon the initial design of the Rubis type, and earlier units have since been refitted to meet her standards.

The Rubis class is a series of nuclear-powered attack submarines operated by the French Navy. The class comprises six vessels and they are the most compact nuclear attack submarines to date. All submarines of the class (except for Casabianca) are named after gemstones.

They have a central computer system for submarine detection, processing of information, and firing of weapons. The hull is made of 80 HLES high elasticity steel. The sonar dome and sail are made of composite materials. The submarines have two crews, "Blue" and "Red", who man the ships every three months in turn.

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