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Subject: France to reduce nuclear air capability
nominoe    3/21/2008 10:43:48 AM
During the cold war, France had a three component nuclear force : - land based strategic missiles : Plateau d'albion - air strike nuclear capability (mirage IV P) - 6 SSBN inflexible class Since then, land based missiles have been eliminated, mirage IV P were replaced with mirage 2000 N and 6 Inflexible class SSBN were replaced by 4 Triomphant class SSBN, the last being launched this week. Nicolas Sarkozy announced today that the number of nuclear warhead woul be reduced to 300, cuting a third of the air component capability. As mirage 2000 N will be replaced by Rafale N, the number of aircraft and missiles will be reduced to be "strictly sufficient". having a nuclear capability is very costly and since no immediate threat of a full scale invasion remains, i think this makes sense. anyway, 300 x 250 kt warheads are more than sufficient and the real challenge is more about having top notch delivery means (missiles, submarines, aircrafts).
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