Successful M51 Ballistic Missile SLBM Test by French Defense Procurement Agency DGA

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Naval Forces News - France
 
 
 
Successful M51 Ballistic Missile SLBM Test by French Defense Procurement Agency DGA
 
The French Defense Procurement Agency (DGA) flight tested an M51 submarine launched ballistic missile (SLBM) from a test center in South Western France. This successful test is part of the development of the new version of the M51 missile as planned by the 2014 - 2019 French military planning law.
     
The French Defense Procurement Agency (DGA) flight tested an M51 submarine launched ballistic missile (SLBM) from a test center in South Western France. This successful test is part of the development of the new version of the M51 missile as planned by the 2014 - 2019 French military planning law.
French SLBM M51
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This trial took place as planned and was carried out without nuclear charge. The missile was monitored throughout its flight phase by means of DGA testing facility and Missile Range Insrumentation Ship Monge (A601). The impact zone is located in the North Atlantic several hundred kilometers from any coast.

The M51 is fitted today on board two of the four new generation SSBNs of the French Navy (Le Triomphant class). The transition of the entire strategic oceanic force fleet to the M51 is expected by the end of the decade.

The M51 is the new generation intercontinental SLBM gradually replacing the M45 since 2010. Each missile carries six to ten independently targetable (MIRV or Multiple Independently targeted Reentry Vehicle) TN 75 thermonuclear warheads. TN 75 will be replaced with the new Tête nucléaire océanique (TNO or oceanic nuclear warhead) warheads starting this year (2015). These new warheads are reported to be maneuverable (MARV or Maneuverable Re-entry Vehicle) in order to avoid potential ballistic defenses. The TNO has a yield that is estimated to be greater than or equal to the yield of the TN 75 warhead, 150 kilotons of TNT (kt) with a CEP (circular error probability) of 150 meters. The warhead's design and functionality were validated through simulation, particularly with DAM's Tera 100 supercomputer, Megajoule laser, and radiographic equipment.
     
Video of the test
 

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