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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

French Nuclear Weapons

NameTypeYield#Dates Vector

Inactive Weapons

AN 11 Fission60 Kt401964-
Mirage IV-A
AN 21 Fission Kt ??1965-
Mirage IV-A
AN 22 Fission70 Kt401967-
Mirage IV-A
MR 31 Fission130 Kt18 1971-
S 2 missile on the Plateau d’Albion
MR 41.1 Fission500 Kt48 1971-
M 1 and M 2 on SNLE
MR 41.2 Fission Kt.. 1973-
M 1 and M 2 on SNLE
AN 52 Fission25 Kt80 1972-
  • Mirage III-E,
  • Jaguar and
  • Super-Étendard
  • AN 51 Fission10/25 Kt70 1974-
    mobile Pluton missile
    TN 60 Thermonuclear1 Mt.. 1976-
    M 20 missile on SNLE
    TN 61 Thermonuclear1 Mt82 1980-
  • M 20 (on SNLE)
  • S 3 missiles (Plateau d’Albion)
  • TN 70 Thermonuclear150 kt96 1985-
    M 4 missile on SNLE
    TN 71 Thermonuclear150 kt288 1987-
    M 4 missile on SNLE
    TN 80 Thermonuclear300 kt18 1986-
    ASMP missile Mirage IV-P
    TN 81 Thermonuclear300 kt60 1988-
    ASMP missile on
  • Mirage IV-P,
  • Mirage 2000-N
  • Super-Étendard
  • TN 90 Thermonuclear80 kt30 1992-
    Hades missile

    Operational Weapons

    TN 75 Thermonuclear100 kt288 Since
    M 45 missile on new-generation SSBN (SNLE-NG)
    TNA Thermonuclear300 kt47 Since
    ASMP-A missile on
  • Mirage 2000-N
  • Rafale
  • NWT Thermonuclear100 kt .. Since
    M 51 missile on new-generation SNLE (SNLE-NG)
    AN (aéroportée nucléaire)
    TN (Tête nucléaire)
    TNA (Tête nucléaire aéroportée)
    TNO (Têtes Nucléaires Océaniques)

    "We must take advantage of the respite offered by the current strategic situation to rethink our nuclear posture. The choice of our means must be based on the principles of sufficiency and credibility which have, moreover, always been ours ."
    Jacques Chirac, President of the Republic
    at the Ecole militaire, Paris, 23 February 1996

    As of 2014, the Arms Control Association reported that France was estimated to have about 300 nuclear warheads, most of which were designed for delivery by submarine launched ballistic missiles (SLBM). The other warheads would outfit the Air-Sol Moyenne Portée (ASMP) missiles carried by Mirage 2000N, Super Étendard, and Rafale planes. The two squadrons of the FAS (which had three until 2008) were to see their latest Mirage 2000N replaced in 2018 by Rafale. Previous estimates had suggested a stockpile of about 350 weapons.

    In February 2015 Francois Hollande called for other countries to follow the example of France by stopping the production of fissile materials and nuclear tests, which have been replaced by simulation tools. Hollande also unveiled the make-up of France’s nuclear arsenal in a “transparency” drive by saying that the country had “less than 300” nuclear warheads, three sets of 16 submarine-launched ballistic missiles, and 54 medium-range air-to-surface missiles.

    The French branch of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) condemned the remarks, saying the speech was far from making the world a safer place. ICAN France denounced “the hardening of the French nuclear deterrent doctrine. ... This speech, instead of going in the direction of easing international tensions, contributes to creating the conditions for a less secure world,” it said in a statement.

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