Dec 1, 2014

France Studies Nuclear Missile Replacement

France has launched studies for an airborne nuclear-tipped missile dubbed ASN4G to replace the current weapon, with the focus on stealth and hypersonic technology on the next-generation atomic arms.
The Air Force flies the Dassault Mirage 2000N and Rafale F3 fighters armed with the air-sol moyenne portée-améliorée (ASMP-A) nuclear missile. These are the airborne systems in addition to the four ballistic nuclear missile submarines.
ASN4G is understood to refer to air-sol nucléaire fourth-generation.
Work began in the summer on the ASMP-A, intended to allow the air-breathing missile to defeat future air defense systems out to 2035.
A stealth study and one on hypersonic speed are underway for the successor to the ASMP-A. The hypersonic weapon might be capable of Mach 7 or 8, he said.
The work on the stealth or hypersonic missile technology will influence development of the future aircraft. For instance, if a hypersonic missile were capable of flying at Mach 7 and were 20 meters long, the aircraft would need to be a large plane, such an Airbus A400M, rather than a fighter such as the Rafale.

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