OKB Grigorov 1/700
Le Redoubtable SNLE

Reviewed by Sean Hert

A lead ship of the 6-ship class, Redoubtable was the first French SNLE, (Sous-marin Nucléaire Lanceur d'Engins, or "Device-Launching Nuclear Submarine") built. Construction on Redoubtable began in 1963, and she was launched in 1967, a year after France withdrew from NATO. Redoubtable entered service four years later in 1971, making France a major player in strategic nuclear deterrence worldwide.

Le Redoubtable was developed by the French with little interferance or guidance from the US or UK. As such, Redoubtable's capabilities were slightly reduced from those of her sisters in the West. This class has four 533mm (21") torpedo tubes mounted in the bow for self defense, while the 16 MSBS (Mer-Sol-Balistique-Stratégique “Sea-ground-Strategic ballistic”) or SLBM's (Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile) arranged in two rows of eight missiles behind the sail provide the deterrence role. The other five subs of this class were later refit to carry more capable missiles, but Le Redoubtable was considered too old at the time. She was decommissioned in 1991 after 20 years of service. In 2002 she reappeared as the star attraction at the Cité de la Mer museum in Cherbourg, France, in the largest submarine open to the public.

OKB Grigorov's latest offering of the Le Redoubtable is an intersting change from the Soviet/Russian and United States Navy subjects seen so far. This French submarine kit is designed and manufactured with the same skill and level of detail seen with previous offerings from this Bulgarian firm.


The kit is in the standard OKB style with few parts and no periscope/sensors/snorkle masts. This kit is molded in grey resin, as opposed to the tan resin seen in other sub kits from OKB. The hull exhibits the usual engraved details on the hull, and is molded with a sprue running the length of the keel.

The control surfaces in the stern of the ship are slightly simplified from prototype, with the curved outside edge of the stern planes evident.

There is a small sprue with the resin dive planes and hub for the propellor. The hub has a very rough texture, and when compared to images online, doesn't seem to have the proper length or "sharpness" to the point.


OKB Grigorov has a new style of display stand included in this kit. It very closely resembles the display stand included in the 1/700 Hobby Boss submarine kits.


Two small photoetch frets are included. One has the seven blades for the prop, the other has 6 chocks for placement on the hull (one extra).


Single page of basic instructions. There are no painting guidlines.


This is a great kit of a interesting subject. Seeing a French SNLE (SSBN) is certainly a change from what we normally see on the market, which is appreciated. Redoubtable has a retail price of $25.00 USD.

Modelwarships thanks OKB Grigorov for this review sample. OKB Grigorov products are available from the fine Modelwarships sponsors listed below.

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