French M51 SLBM Mock-Up Tested Successfully

Released on Tuesday, December 9, 2003
LOLA - Liaison Optique Laser Aéroportée
MoD - Ministry of Defence
SLBM - Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile
The French Ministry of Defense has announced that a full scale M51 submarine-launched ballistic missile Mock-up was tested successfully inside a water tank in French military facilities in Toulon, France.

This tests were designed to evaluate M51 missile initial trajectory between its vertical tube ejection to the emerging event from the sea.

The M51 missile mock-up has been christened JONAS and the developmental vertical silo specially designed for the M51 missile is called CETACE.

French Ballistic submarines will be equipped in the future with CETACE vertical tubes in order to accommodate M51 SLBMs.

The development tasks associated to the M51 project are carried out by EADS (M51 missile) and DCN (submarine launch system). The French DGA ( Delegation Generale pour l' Armament) takes full responsibility for the entire program. According to French MoD, the M51 ballistic missile would be operational in 2010.

Additionally, the French DGA awarded EADS ASTRIUM SAS a €48 million ($58 million) contract for development of LOLA (Liaison Optique Laser Aéroportée or Airborne Optical Laser Liaison) demonstrator.

LOLA is intended to provide datalink between a geosynchronous satellite and a flying aircraft. The development program will run until 2006 when a decision should be taken about the final fielding of LOLA satellites.

The LOLA satellite could be operational in 2010. It will provide reliable, wide band and very secure communications between France homeland and long range unmanned aircraft deployed overseas.


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