The Rubis Class is a nuclear attack submarine operated by the French Navy. The lead boat in the class, Rubis, was laid down December 11, 1976 and launched July 7, 1979. However, fine-tuning of the design needed over 1,000 hours of underwater
testing before she was finally commissioned on February 23, 1983. Eight submarines were planned but only six were built and commissioned. The six boats are
Rubis (S601), Saphir (S602), Casabianca (S603), Émeraude (S604), Améthyste (S605)
Perle (S606). All boats were named after gemstones, expect for Casabianca, which was named in honor of the famous World War II submarine which escaped the scuttling of the French fleet in Toulon to join the Allies and served with
distinction. As launched, the submarines measured 236 feet long (72 meter) and are the most compact nuclear attack submarine to date. They were fitted with four 21-inch (533mm) torpedo tubes capable firing torpedoes or Exocet anti-ship missiles.

The initial design of the
Rubis had unexpectedly high noise levels. This led to the AMÉlioration Tactique HYdrodynamique Silence Transmission Ecoute (Améthyste) silencing program. This translates to Silent Acoustic Transmission Tactical
Hydrodynamic Improvement. The program included upgrades to the sonar, reshaping of the hull form and rounding the bow to improve silencing and additional upgrades of the electronics. These improvements were applied to the hulls of the
Améthyste (S605) and Perle (S606). The reshaping of the hull and bow increased the length to 241 feet (73.6 meters). After testing and proving of the upgrades, the original four boats were rebuilt to incorporate the changes between 1989 and 1995.
Even with the additional length, the class remains the most compact nuclear attack submarine to date.

Saphir was decommissioned in July 2019 and the other five submarines are still commissioned but only four currently active. Perle caught fire in dry dock while undergoing major renovations on June 12, 2020. The fire was intense but confined to the
forward section of the submarine. Fortunately, there were no weapons or nuclear fuel onboard at the time of the fire. Later that year, it was decided to use the forward section of the decommissioned
Saphir to repair Perle, which completion is planned
in 2023. The
Rubis Class submarines are scheduled to be gradually replaced by the new Barracuda Class submarines.
OKB Grigorov has an extensive catalog of 1:700 scale resin submarine kits and Rubis Class in the original straight bow configuration is one of the newer releases. Like OKB Grigorov kits, this is a relatively simple affair in terms of parts count but not
at the expense of detail. The main part is the one-piece full hull which has a substantial amount of detail, such as the torpedo tube doors and numerous hatches cast into it. The part captures the profile of the original hull shape well. The hull comes on
a casting runner which will probably require some clean up along the keel once it is removed.

The smaller resin parts include forward and aft diving planes and the propeller hub. A very nice-looking resin display stand is also included. Two different photo-etch propellers are provided, one, an older 5-bladed style and a more modern 7-bladed
style. The box label states the parts include one metal piece, so the question is whether one of the propellers was accidentally added to the kit. If you wish to add periscopes, radar antennas or other bits to the top of the sail, you will need to make your
own using rod and strip. No assembly instructions are included but it is such a simple kit that they are not really needed other than it would have helped to know which propeller to use for this configuration.
The OKB Grigorov Rubis Class Submarine Original Configuration is excellent little kit and a good first resin model due to its simplicity. This kit would also be welcome to more experienced modelers wishing to expand their 1:700 scale
submarine fleet and make an excellent weekend project. A 1:700 scale kit of the later
Améthyste version is also available. Both kits are sold directly from OKB Grigorov through their website ( My thanks to OKB Grigorov for
providing the sample.

Felix Bustelo
New York