Tuesday, September 21, 2021

French nuclear-powered submarine fired Exocet SM39 cruise missile

The French Navy has released a short video showing the test-firing of an Exocet SM39 underwater-launched anti-ship cruise missile from the nuclear-powered attack submarine.

In a video posted by the French Navy, this weekend showed a test of an SM39 missile in the Atlantic Ocean on April 19.

A nuclear attack submarine destroyed a target at a distance of about 30 kilometers with an SM39 missile, said in a statement.

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“The submarine fired this shot at a fixed target located in an Atlantic exercise area,” the French Navy said.

Also added that the main goal of the tests was the use of missiles on a target designated by the Atlantique 2 (ATL2) maritime patrol aircraft.

Exocet SM39 is the submarine-launched version of the Exocet family. It features all weather capability, sea skimming flight, solid propellant and a high kill warhead.

The missile has a range of 50 km, which enables the submarine to go into action while remaining out of enemy detection and weapon range. Flexibility and versatility are provided thanks to the system’s large launch envelope.

Housed in a water-tight, highly resistant, propelled and guided underwater vehicle, the aerial missile is ejected as soon as it breaks the surface, to ensure a very low culmination altitude. It then rapidly homes into the target at sea skimming level: it uses an inertial navigation system followed by autonomous terminal guidance from an active RF seeker.

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About this Author

Dylan Malyasov
U.S. defense journalist and commentator. Aviation photographer. Dylan leads Defence Blog's coverage of global military news, focusing on engineering and technology across the U.S. defense industry.

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