M45 (missile)


(Learn how and when to remove this template message)
M-45 missile.svg
Service history
In service1996
Production history
ManufacturerAerospatiale (1996-2000) now EADS SPACE Transportation
Mass35 t
Length11.05 m (36.3 ft)
Diameter1.93 m (6.3 ft)
Warhead6 x 110 kt TN 75

Engine3-stage Solid-fuel rocket
6,000 km (3,700 mi)
Inertial plus computer payload control
Triomphant-class submarines

The M45 SLBM was a French Navy submarine-launched ballistic missile (In French terminology, the MSBS - Mer-Sol-Ballistique-Stratégique (Sea-ground-Strategic ballistic missile).) Forty-eight M45 were in commission in the Force océanique stratégique, the submarine nuclear deterrent component of the French Navy.[needs update] The missiles, derived from the M4, were produced by Aérospatiale[when?] (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 was succeeded by the M51 SLBM.

The Ministry of Defense had planned to replace the M45 model with the M51 model since 2004, but the last M45 was only removed from service in 2016.[1] However, its successor, the M51 model, was formally introduced in 2010 and has since entered service. Throughout its service, only 64 out of the 192 missiles that were built are believed to have been used.[2]

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.


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.

Former Operators


See also

Sources and references

  1. ^ Kristensen, Hans; Korda, Matt (7 January 2019). "French nuclear forces, 2019". Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. 75 (Special Issue: Spotlight on Nuclear Modernization): 51–55. doi:10.1080/00963402.2019.1556003. Retrieved 27 October 2021.
  2. ^ "M45". Missile Threat. Retrieved 5 April 2019.