Tête nucléaire océanique

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Tête nucléaire océanique (TNO or oceanic nuclear warhead) is a French thermonuclear warhead intended for use on the M51.2 submarine-launched ballistic missile, that is being developed and built by the Division of Military Applications (DAM) at France's Commissariat à l'énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives (English: Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies Commission).[1] It will be carried on Triomphant-class submarines.[1][2] The TNO is intended to replace the currently deployed TN 75 warhead.[3] Its commissioning was planned for 2015, when France's newest submarines, either Le Terrible or Le Vigilant, will be one of the first to carry the warhead.[3][4]


The TNO has a yield that is estimated to be 100 kilotons of TNT (kt).[5] The warhead's charge is called "robust":[6] less optimized than the TN 75 but with an improved reliability and life-span. Development of the technology in the warhead has benefited from the final series of French nuclear tests conducted in 1995-1996 in Moruroa, French Polynesia. The warhead's design and functionality were ultimately validated through simulation,[7] particularly with DAM's Tera 100 supercomputer, Megajoule laser, and radiographic equipment.[8] Production of the TNO is estimated to be complete, although it is not yet in France's operational stockpile of nuclear weapons.[3]

Classification of related data[edit]

The information presented in this article can only be indicative because underlying data is classified by the French government.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Boulaud, Didier (12 July 2012). "L'avenir des forces nucléaires françaises" (in French). Sénat de France. Retrieved 11 April 2013.
  2. ^ Pillet, Nicolas (28 January 2010). "Le Terrible a tiré avec succès un M-51 !". Eurospace (in French). Retrieved 6 November 2011.
  3. ^ a b c Kristensen, Hans. "France" (PDF). Assuring Destruction Forever: Nuclear Weapon Modernization Around the World. Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. Retrieved 11 April 2013.
  4. ^ Reif, Kingston (8 December 2009). "Nuclear weapons: The modernization myth". Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Retrieved 11 April 2013.
  5. ^ "Deterrence: F. Hollande details his vision and the French arsenal". Mer et Marine (in French). www.meretmarine.com. 20 February 2015. Retrieved 13 October 2018.
  6. ^ Kearns, Ian (November 2011). Beyond the United Kingdom: Trends in the Other Nuclear Armed States (PDF). British American Security Information Council (BASIC). Retrieved 11 April 2013.
  7. ^ Pintat, Xavier; Daniel Reiner (18 November 2010). "Projet de loi de finances pour 2011 : Défense - Equipement des forces" (in French). Sénat de France. Retrieved 11 April 2013.
  8. ^ Volant, Emmanuelle (July 2012). "Dossier de presse - Le Laser Mégajoule" (PDF) (in French). CEA/DAM. Retrieved 11 April 2013.
  9. ^ Rapport d'information sur l'avenir des forces nucléaires françaises No. 668 du 12 juillet 2012 (Information Report on the future of French nuclear forces, No. 668 of 12 July 2012)(in French)