Directorate General of Armaments (DGA), the French Government defence procurement and technology agency, has conducted a successful test firing of an M51 strategic ballistic missile.

The test, conducted from the Landes site of DGA Missile Tests, was carried out without a nuclear warhead and in strict compliance with the country’s international commitments.

DGA Missile Tests also monitored the missile throughout its flight phase until it dropped in the North Atlantic, several hundred kilometres from the coast.

French Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly expressed her satisfaction after the successful testing and congratulated all the staff of the ministry, the Commissariat for Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies (CEA), and associated industrial partners.

A DGA statement said: “This shot, carried out as part of the M51 programme, once again demonstrates the excellence of high technology that French industries are implementing in this field.

“This armament programme 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.”

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In June last year, M51 missile was test fired from the French Navy’s Triomphant class nuclear ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) Le Téméraire.

The M51 submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) reportedly has an operational range of 8,000km to 10,000km, with a speed of Mach 25.

France recently concluded a three-day bilateral naval exercise with India.

The ‘Varuna-2021’ naval exercise in the Arabian Sea involved a variety of drills, including advanced air defence and anti-submarine exercises, fixed and rotary wing flying operations, and tactical manoeuvres.