Attack submarine Agosta (1977-2001). This model in a spectacular scale of 1:35 is another masterpiece by our friend Maurice Verhaaren. It is part of our military submarine exhibition on deck 5 of the museum.
In 2001, the French National Navy took its last conventionally powered submarines out of active service. Since then, it has relied exclusively on nuclear-powered submarines. Its last class of diesel-electric attack submarines was the Agosta-class from the 1970s. Its design served as the basis for the later Rubis-class, the world’s smallest nuclear-powered attack submarines.
Plans to build the Agosta-class began in the late 1960s to replace the Daphne-class submarines. The four units built for the French Navy were built at the Arsenal shipyard in Cherbourg between 1972 and 1977 and entered service between 1977 and 1978. They were 67.7 meters long, 6.8 meters wide, had a crew of 54, could dive to depths of 500 meters and had a top speed of 20.5 knots underwater and 12.5 knots on the surface. Her armament included 23 torpedoes and up to 42 mines. After a modernization in the 1980s, Exocet anti-ship missiles were added, which could also be fired underwater.
In total, there were 13 units of this class. The first foreign customer was the South African Navy, but after UN sanctions were imposed on the apartheid regime, the submarines were sold to the Pakistan Navy, where they are still in service. Four more units were built at the Navantia shipyard in Cartagena, Spain, as the Galerna-class, based on French plans. Two of these units are still in service for the Spanish Navy.
The French units were decommissioned between 1997 and 2001. All were scrapped except the most recent unit, the „Ouessant“, which was handed over to the Royal Malaysian Navy in 2005 as a training submarine for the crews of the two French Scorpène-class units. The „Ouessant“ was decommissioned in 2009 and has since been preserved as a museum ship in Malacca City.