A French M51 ballistic missile self-destructed off the coast of Brittany during a test on Sunday, May the 5th 2013
The missile self-destructed during its first propulsion phase... for
an unknown reason, Lieutenant Commander Lionel Delort, a spokesman for
the Atlantic Naval Prefecture.
It was a failure, the reasons will be determined by an investigation, said the spokesman.
The test-fire was carried out from the Vigilant strategic nuclear
submarine in the Bay of Audierne at 0730 GMT. The missile was obviously not
carrying a nuclear warhead and landed in the ocean after its
The M51 was put into operation in 2010 after five successful test launches and has a range of 8,000-10,000 km.