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Test firing of M51 missile fails

21st May 2013 - 14:41 GMT | by Joyce de Thouars in London

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A test firing of an M51 submarine-launched ballistic missile failed when the missile self-destructed within seconds after its launch from the Vigilante submarine on 5 May.

The test was carried out by France’s Directorate General of Armaments (DGA) and the French Navy in the Bay of Audierne.

Detection of an internal fault led the M51 to destroy itself in the first propulsion phase. The French MoD said in a statement that the M51 was not armed with a nuclear warhead during the test and a commission set up by the DGA will investigate the failing.

The M51 is developed by

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Joyce de Thouars

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Joyce de Thouars


Joyce holds a MA degree in Middle Eastern Studies from King’s College London. Before she …

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