The French Ministry of Armed Forces tested an M-51 submarine-launched ballistic missile in the North Atlantic, “several hundred kilometers from any coast.”
DGA Essais de Missiles monitored the test in Biscarosse, the French army’s ballistic missile test site in Southwestern France. The test was said to be in “strict compliance with France’s international commitments.”
“This armament program responds to the will of the President of the Republic, who has undertaken to take the decisions necessary to maintain the operational credibility of the nuclear forces over time, at the level of strict sufficiency required by the international environment,” the statement said.
The M51 SLBM can carry up to 10 nuclear warheads that can be maneuvered to evade potential ballistic defenses. It was first test-fired at Centre d’essais de lancement de missiles (CELM) in Biscarosse, France, on November 9, 2006, and was deployed in 2010, replacing the M45 SLBM.