Projet de loi de finances pour 2000, adopté par l'Assemblée nationale, TOME IV - DEFENSE - NUCLEAIRE, ESPACE ET SERVICES COMMUNS
Index

II. COURSE OF THE NUCLEAR PROGRAMS

The abandonment of the ground-to-ground component, the closing of the factories of production of fissile material military, the final adoption of the nuclear tests and the dismantling of the sites of experimentation, the reduction of the volume and the posture of alarm of the components underwater and airborne involved a strong contraction in very few years of our nuclear deterrent power, adjusted with the new strategic context "   in the strict respect of the principles of sufficiency and credibility   ", according to terms' of the law of programming.

The evolution of the international environment, less favorable to the disarmament nuclear and marked by the rise of the risks related to the proliferation imposes that is concluded the two aims of our nuclear programs  :

- the modernization and renewal of the components underwater and airborne,

- the success of the essential simulator, and the absence of full-scale tests, with the reliability and the safety of the future weapons.

With. THE MODERNIZATION AND RENEWAL OF THE COMPONENTS UNDERWATER AND AIRBORNE

1. The strategic oceanic Force

The aims of the strategic oceanic force decrees by the law of programming envisage  :

- the realization of 4 submarines launchers of machines of new generation (SNLE-NG) called to follow on from the SNLE current and one of the chief features of which is an increased invulnerability because of their acoustic discretion,

- the replacement of the ballistic missile M 4 in service on the current SNLE by the missile M 45 equipped with a new nuclear warhead, the TN 75,

- then in the more remote term, the replacement of the M 45 by a more powerful missile, the M 51 initially equipped (2008) with the TN 75 then, in 2015, new oceanic head (TNO)

The strategic oceanic force is composed today of 4 buildings, numbers regarded as the essential minimum to ensure, taking into account the cycles of maintenance, permanence with the sea of 2 buildings so necessary, and this in order to avoid the possible neutralization of the one of them.

The first SNLE-NG, Triumphing it, entered in service at the beginning of 1997. The second, the Bold one, should be allowed with the active service next December. The admission with the active service of the last two SNLE-NG is envisaged at summer 2004 for the Vigilant one and summer 2008 for the SNLE-NG n° 4.

Being the ballistic missiles, the SNLE-NG Triumphing it was equipped as of its admission with the active service over the missile M 45 and nuclear warhead TN 75 with capacity with improved penetration. The same will apply to the Bold one and the Vigilant one. The last SNLE of present generation, the Inflexible one, which should remain in service until summer 2006, will be adapted for being able to carry the missile M 45.

From 2008, the FOST will be equipped with a new missile, the missile M 51, whose range with a complete loading in nuclear heads will be of 6   000 km, against 4 000 km for the M 45, which will make it possible to increase the zones of patrol. The missiles M 51 will be equipped initially with nuclear warhead TN 75 and the assistances to the penetration of the missile M45, then, from 2015, of the new oceanic nuclear warhead (TNO) and of a new system of assistance to the penetration.

Let us recall that following the review of program, the duration of the development of the missile M 51 was reduced so as to be able to directly equip the SNLE-NG n° 4. This installation with the calendar involved a total economy of about 5,5 billion francs on programs SNLE-NG, M 45 and M 51 and will impose an optimization of the tests of the M 51.

2. The airborne component

The airborne component of our deterrent power constitutes the complement necessary of the underwater component and is characterized by a mobility and a flexibility making it possible to diversify the modes of penetration. Implementation since the ground or the aircraft carrier, it can contribute in a way more visible with the exercise of dissuasion.

The airborne component rests on three squadrons of Mirage 2000-N of the Air Force and on the Super-Standard modernized of the Naval Aviation, which carry the missile air ground average carried (ASMP), whose range varies from 3000 km in high altitude to 80 km in low altitude and who is equipped with nuclear warhead TN 81.

The airborne component will be entirely renewed from 2007 by the entry into service of the Rafale Marine and Air, the replacement of the ASMP by the ASMP improved (ASMP-A) and the replacement of the TN 81 by the new airborne nuclear warhead (TNA).

Head nuclear TN 81 will start to be withdrawn from the service into 2007 to be replaced by the TNA.

The delivery of vector ASMP-A should intervene from 2008, the launching of the stage of realization being envisaged into 2000. It will profit from the vector with stratoreactor VESTA whose development is common with the future missile anti-ship (ANF). The ASMP-A will be characterized by a range and a capacity of penetration of defenses definitely higher than those of the ASMP.

Lastly, the startup of the marine flotilla of the Rafale will intervene into 2008, just like the first squadron of Rafale air, the second squadron being brought into service into 2010 and the third into 2012.