France has tested an air-launched nuclear cruise missile

France has successfully conducted the first evaluation test of the upgraded medium-range air-to-surface cruise missile, "ASMPA-R".

The announcement was made by French Minister of Armed Forces Sebastien Lecornu, who expressed his satisfaction with the outcome of the test.

The missile was launched from a Rafale B fighter jet of the Strategic Air Force after a flight that simulated a nuclear attack.

The operation, called DURANDAL, was carried out on national territory and involved a formation of A330 Poenix refueling aircraft and Rafale B fighters, which encountered simulated air-to-air and surface-to-air threats from the Air Force and Space Force.

Lecornu congratulated the staff of the Ministry of Armed Forces and the partners involved in the project. The nuclear-capable missile, developed by MBDA, was monitored during its flight by the General Directorate of Armaments from sites in Biscarosse, Hortin and Quimper.

The test marks a milestone in France's commitment to maintaining its nuclear deterrent capabilities.

The ASMPA-R program improved the missile's performance to ensure the credibility of France's airborne nuclear deterrent in response to evolving threats on the ground.

This capability will be maintained until the introduction of the next generation nuclear air-to-ground missile, "ASN4G", projected for 2035.

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