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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


The S-4 was an intermediate range, silo-based and mobile, solid propellant, MRV capable ballistic missile. The S-4/S-45 program was cancelled in 1991. In 1987, the French Defence Ministry announced a 10 year development programme for the land-based S-4 IRBM to replace the S-3 missile in the late 1990s. However, doubts were expressed in 1988 and several options were explored including land basing a variant of the submarine-launched ballistic missile M-4, land basing a variant of the M-5, or an improved S-4 design known as S-45. In 1991 it was decided to cancel the S-4/S-45 program and to develop a land-based variant of the M-5 SLBM to replace the existing S-3 missiles [an effort which was also cancelled].

The S-4 was a two stage, solid propellant, land mobile or silo-based system, with a range of 3500 km. There was planned to be a MIRV payload of three TN-35 warheads, perhaps with yields in the 20 kT range. The original S-4 program called for 36 missiles capable of random dispersal around France by air or road in times of tension. Some reports suggested that there would be 18 missiles for the land mobile force, and the other 18 would replace the S-3 fixed-based force on the Plateau d'Albion.

Prime contractor Aérospatiale, Space and Strategic Systems Division, Les Mureaux
Length 10.0 m
Body diameter 1.0 m
Launch weight 10000 kg
Payload 3 warheads MRV capable
Warhead 20 kT nuclear each
Guidance Inertial
Propulsion 2 stage solid propellant
Range 3500 km
Accuracy n/k

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Page last modified: 24-07-2011 04:39:56 ZULU