The M51 SLBM is a submarine-launched ballistic missile, built by Airbus Defence & Space, and deployed with the French Navy. Designed to replace the M45 SLBM (In French terminology the MSBS - Mer-Sol-Balistique-Stratégique “Sea-ground-Strategic ballistic”), it was first deployed in 2010.
Each missile carries six to ten independently targetable TN 75 thermonuclear warheads.
The three-stage engine of the M51 is directly derived from the solid propellant boosters of Ariane 5.[4] Like other blunt-nosed SLBM, such as the Trident D5, the M51 uses an extensible aerospike in the nose.
The missiles are a compromise over the M5 SLBM design, which was to have a range of 11,000 km (6,800 mi) and carry 10 new generation Tête nucléaire océanique' (“Oceanic nuclear warhead”) MIRVs.[5] Design work on the M5 started in 1992, before the programme was renamed the M51 in 1996, when development costs decreased by 20 percent.[6] The M51 entered service in 2010.[7]

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