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(CNN) A French nuclear-powered submarine severely damaged by fire last year has been saved from the scrapyard -- by cutting it in two and welding the salvageable half to part of another decommissioned sub.
But the rear half of the 241-foot-long (73 meters) submarine, which has a displacement of 2,600 tons, was not damaged during the fire at a shipyard in Toulon, southern France.
The French submarine Perle is seen in Portsmouth, UK, in 2004.
Workers cut the Perle in half in February and did the same to the Saphir in March, according to a news release from French shipbuilder Naval Group.
Firefighters spray water on the submarine Perle (right) after a fire broke out on board while it underwent repairs in Toulon, France on June 12, 2020.
Naval Group spokesperson Klara Nadaradjane said the joining work would be completed in the coming months.
Digital modelingAll that work will be rehearsed using a three-dimensional digital model before being attempted aboard the submarine, Naval Group said.
The Perle, commissioned in 1993, was the newest of what once were six Rubis-class nuclear submarines in the French fleet.
The French submarine Saphir is seen in this August 15, 2004, file photo.
The Rubis-class subs are scheduled to be replaced in coming years by the new Barracuda nuclear-powered submarines, the first of which, the Suffren, was delivered to the French navy in November.
repair work that involves joining the fore and aft ends of two sister ships, is of course a first in the modern history of Naval Group," Ferrer said.
Shugart said current submarine construction essentially does what the French are doing now in the Cherbourg shipyard.
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