Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Force de frappe
The Force de frappe (literally Striking Force; meant for dissuasion, i.e. Deterrence) is the designation of what used to be a triad of air-, sea- and land-based French Nuclear Forces, part of the Military of France. France has the third largest nuclear force in the world, after the United States and Russia (see Estimated stockpiles).

Force de frappe History

Present state
France does not have active IRBMs anymore, the IRBM base at the Plateau d'Albion (Vaucluse region) has been deactivated in 1999. All army units equipped with SRBMs as the Pluton and Hadès missiles have been disbanded at the same time.

Land-based component
The French Navy includes a nuclear strategic branch, the Force Océanique Stratégique, composed of a fleet of:
One additional Triomphant-class SSBN, Le Terrible, is under construction and is scheduled for commissioning in 2008 to replace the aging L'Inflexible.
Development of the new Barracuda class of attack submarines is under way to replace all Rubis-class boats. Deliveries are scheduled from 2016 to 2026.

Four nuclear ballistic submarines: one Redoutable-class unit (L'Inflexible) of 1970s design, armed with the M4 SLBM, and three Triomphant-class SSBNs (Le Triomphant, Le Téméraire, and Le Vigilant) of late 1980s design, armed with the more modern M45 SLBM. Starting in 2010, the longer-range M51 SLBM will gradually replace the M45.
Six Rubis-class nuclear attack submarines of late 1970s design, tasked with protecting the SSBN fleet.

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