M45 (missile)

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M45 SLBM
M-45 missile.svg
Type SLBM
Service history
In service 1996
Production history
Manufacturer Aerospatiale (1996-2000) now EADS SPACE Transportation
Specifications
Weight 35 t
Length 11.05 m
Diameter 1.93 m
Warhead 6 x 110 kt TN 75

Engine 3-stage Solid-fuel rocket
Operational
range
6,000 km
Guidance
system
Inertial plus computer payload control
Launch
platform
Triomphant class submarines

The M45 SLBM is the current standard French Navy's submarine-launched ballistic missile (In French terminology, the MSBS - Mer-Sol-Ballistique-Stratégique (Sea-ground-Strategic ballistic missile).) Forty-eight M45 are in commission in the Force océanique stratégique, the submarine nuclear deterrent component of the French Navy.[needs update]

The missiles, derived from the M4, are produced by Aérospatiale (now EADS SPACE Transportation). Initially, an ICBM land-based version was considered but these plans were discarded in 1996 to favour an all-naval deployment.

The M45 differs from its predecessor by its increased range (6,000 km vs. 4,000 km), its increased accuracy and penetration capabilities and its new TN-75 warheads. Each missile carries six MIRVs, each armed with a thermonuclear warhead of 110 kt.

The M45 has a reported accuracy of 350 m CEP using an inertial missile guidance system coupled with computer payload control. It will be succeeded by the M51 SLBM.

Tests[edit]

In March 1986, a M-4 missile was launched and covered 6,000 km to its target; this flight is rumoured to have been the first test flight for the M-45.[citation needed]

On the night of the 1–2 June 2004, the Triomphant-class submarine Vigilant fired a version of the M45 from the southern part of Brittany; the missile hit its target near French Guiana.

Operators[edit]

 France
Comparison of different nuclear systems: left, the SNLE (Redoutable type) with the M4 missile; right, the SNLE-NG (Triomphant type) with the present M45 missile and the future M51 missile.