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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


Hammaguir / Hamaguir
30° 54' N 3° 02' W

The CIEES (Centre Interarmées d'Essais d'Engins Spéciaux) at Hammaguir [30°54'N 3°02'W] was located at 120 km to the south-west of Colomb-Bechar in the Sahara desert near the Moroccan border [some sources provide a location of 31°00'N 8°08'W but this is evidently in error]. It was used, beginning in May 1952 for launching sounding rockets and other flight tests associated with the the SSBS and MSBS strategic missiles development programs. By the mid-1960s the facility included two missiles test areas consisting of four firing ranges (three in Hammaguir and one in Colomb-Bechar) disposed around three control stations. On 26 November 1965 the first French satellite (Asterix) was launched on a Diamant booster, and three further small geodetic satellites were launched through 15 February 1967. On 0l July 1967, the facility was abandoned and turned over to Algeria, as provided in the Evian agreements of March 1962.





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