France Tests M51 Ballistic Missile From Nuclear-powered Submarine

  • Our Bureau
  • 09:44 PM, July 1, 2016
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France Tests M51 Ballistic Missile From Nuclear-powered Submarine
M51 ballistic missile (Image: Le Telegramme)

France tested a M51 strategic ballistic missile by a nuclear-powered submarine, Triumphant early Friday morning.

The missile was monitored throughout its flight phase from the test center of the Directorate General of Armaments (DGA), including the test and telemetry ship “Monge”, Le Telegramme reported Friday.

The impact zone is located in the North Atlantic, several hundred kilometers from the nearest coast. As always, this test was conducted without a nuclear warhead and in strict compliance with France’s international commitments. 

Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian in an official statement expressed his satisfaction today after the successful launch of an M51 strategic ballistic missile by the nuclear-powered missile submarine (SSBN) Le Triomphant this morning at 9:18 a.m. from the Bay of Audierne, in Finistère county. 

This firing validates the operational capacity of the overall Le Triomphant weapon system, and again demonstrates the excellence in high technology that French industries are implementing in this area. 

The M51 missile today is fitted to three of the four next-generation missile-launching nuclear-powered submarines (SSBN-NG). 

The conversion of the entire Force Stratégique Océanique to this new missile is expected by the end of the decade. 

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