Practical finalization of the draft nuclear submarine in France began in 1958, when the state shipyard in Cherbourg was laid the first nuclear submarine. But a year later due to difficulties encountered in the development of nuclear reactors for the main power plant, the construction of the submarine has been temporarily suspended. Require considerable additional complex research works. In the end, the project's first nuclear boat was removed from the building. Later, the body used to the new, but already towing a diesel-electric submarine "Le Gymnote", intended for testing future systems SSBN, as well as flight testing of ballistic missiles. It was equipped with four silo launchers that were converted under the new SLBM test. First failure made some hesitation in the minds of the French military for further ways to build strategic nuclear forces. The final decision on the establishment of nuclear-missile weapons sea-based was adopted only in 1963. Establishment of marine nuclear missile forces carried out jointly: Atomic Energy Commission CEA, missile defense agency and the Office of DEN naval construction program in DCN "Coelacanthe". French ocean FOST strategic forces were officially formed in 1967.
By the time a formal decision on the establishment of SLBMs French rocket scientists already have some experience in creating small solid-fuel rockets are tested at the site Hammagir in Algeria (polygon was codenamed "Jewels"). It was decided to create a program to integrate the most French SLBMs and MRBM. To create the first French strategic missiles was created French National Laboratory ballistic and aerodynamic research under the auspices of the state organization SEREB (Organization for the research and development of ballistic missiles), combined efforts of France's leading aerospace companies of the time, especially "Aerospatiale", "Nord Aviacion "and" Aviación Sud ". Warhead designs and manufactures the CEA - the civilian Atomic Energy Commission. Advances in the field of rocketry achieved by French scientists and engineers in the second half of the 60s, allowed to create in 1966 the first prototype of its own SLBM, designated M112 and tested at landfills Hammagir Ile du Levant and (complexes Nemo and Brigitte, respectively). In 1967, tests of the missile began with submarine "Le Gymnote". These successes have been a big impetus to the maximum deployment works on the construction of the French SSBN: according to a second five-year plan for the armed forces of the country (1966 - 1970 gg.) Provided for the funding of the construction of three submarines. However, the plans were soon expanded significantly - in 1967 the Department of Defense officially announced the decision to build a nuclear missile and a fourth boat, and in 1971 (when it was introduced to the fleet of the first SSBN) - fifth. According to the plan, expected to be built within ten years five SSBNs were getting on better equipping missiles as they come into service.
First National SSBN - "Le Redoutable" was introduced to the fleet in 1971, and in 1972 went into the ocean on a combat patrol. Second in class submarine "Le Terrible", assigned to the Navy in 1973 and at the same time took the first combat patrol. Became the first French SLBM SLBM M1, entered service in 1971. This rocket consists of a two-stage solid-fuel missile with a serial connection speed and monobloc nuclear warhead MR-41 capacity 0.5Mt. Firing range missiles, according to published data, is 2600 km at 3.2 km CWE.
third SSBN - "Le Foudroyant", which entered the fleet in 1974, was equipped with more advanced SLBMs M2, taken into service in 1974. M1 from the new missile differed modified second stage sustainer and improved inertial control system, which increased the range of up to 3,000 km with a decrease CWE to 2km. For a variety of data for the new SLBM were adapted and two SSBNs equipped with M1.
However, qualitative growth of the strike force of French SSBNs occurred with the adoption by the 1976 SLBM M20. When designing the new SLBM to developers was tasked with improving all the characteristics - range and accuracy, MS power. Planned to equip the missile complex and means to overcome missile defense - this decision is largely motivated by the great success achieved by the United States and the Soviet Union in creating a missile defense system (NMD). The economic situation in France late 60s - early 70s was not easy, so before designers addition to the above tasks was also tasked with maximum unifitsikatsii new SLBM as already set to rocket armament M2, and to create a promising BRSD S3. The new missile was to get a thermonuclear warhead TN-60 capacity of 1.2 Mt.
first series MS TN-60 was assigned to the military in January 1976.
Launch (see layout scheme) was performed by two-stage scheme inline degrees. Body of the first sustainer stage SEP 904 missiles was made of special light and heat resistant steel Z2-NKTD. Stage casing was covered with a special advanced thermal barrier coating of light type, defended from missile aerodynamic heating and actions PFYAV. To create control efforts to control the missile in the boost phase trajectory pitch, roll and yaw in the first degree were applied four diverging nozzle of high-and heat-resistant alloy. The stage was as unified as the first stage of the march SLBM M1 and M2.
second housing sustainer stage Rita-2 was made of lightweight and high-strength organic material (fiber) by winding yarns. Stage casing was covered with a special advanced thermal barrier coating light type. The rocket engine of the second stage still had one central recessed nozzle. For thrust vector control at the site of the second stage for pitch and yaw channels applied injection of liquid refrigerant from a special tank, located in the second stage, in the supercritical part of the nozzle. Roll-control was carried out using an independent gasifier system with fixed control nozzles. Application of the new fuel will get a higher specific impulse. The second stage was the most unified with the second stage of the march of the French BRSD S3.
Each stage was equipped with a system of compulsory liquidation in the case of violations of the flight program. A method of separating sustainer stages - cold mortar due to pressurization mezhstupennogo space with a special gas generator and transverse division connection speed by the elongated conical charge. Method for separating the head from the second part of the sustainer stage after reaching the desired ballistic trajectory has been a traditional ballistic missile - MS office from the second stage using pirozamkov response, and then opening protivotyagi nozzles in the second stage, that ceased burning sustainer engine, brakes and away her stage away from the breakaway head portion.
Unlike its predecessors the new missile had a new thermonuclear warhead monoblock, veiled in a large part of the active portion of the flight payload fairing. Nosecone was unified with the maximum payload fairing BRSD S3. Thermonuclear warhead close coupled TN-61 had a significantly increased capacity (1.2 Mt) and resistance to PFYAV than MS MR-41 missiles M1 and M2, as well as increased safety during transportation and storage. New combat unit was a high-speed, had a minimal dissipation endo and greater resistance to PFYAV. According to some sources, he was covered with a special radar-absorbing coating and contained the equipment to create a working ABM radar interference potential enemy. Warhead equipped with thermal protection ablative type. Warhead had an air and contact options detonation. The rocket was carrying a set of tools to overcome (PCB) missile, consisting of light decoys and chaff, placed in special containers that are installed on the second stage of the rocket - the first time at the French ballistic missiles. PCB mass MS and 1-ton missile was initially (1976-1977) part of the missile was equipped with a thermonuclear warhead monobloc TN-60 - the first French thermonuclear device, entered service. From TN-61 warhead was different this greater mass and less resistant to PFYAV. By 1978, all TN-60 warhead had been brought to the level of TN-61.
M20 installed a new inertial control system of French production unit with high-speed digital computer and gyroscopes, which is located in a special part of the instrument compartment in the second stage. Control system had increased resistance to PFYAV. CWE when firing at maximum range (3,200 km Warhead TN-61) was 1 km. The rocket had the opportunity to fire one of the few (for a variety of data, 4) the predetermined target indications (data stored in the onboard computer), which significantly expanded the combat capabilities of the system compared to its predecessors.
M20 SLBM designed to run from a submarine lying at a depth of 30 m first missile could be ready to start for the time period from 30 to 20 minutes depending on the electronics (which is upgraded to reduce time prelaunch) during a subsequent period of time ranging from 1 minute to 30 seconds. Rockets fired from launchers parogazovym way. Starting glass walls have several rows obturator rings, and the top is closed dome membrane of phenolic resin reinforced with asbestos. Gas mixture, necessary for the discharge of missiles mines produced padas. They generate gases first pass through the water tank (cooling chamber), mixed with it in certain proportions and form a low temperature steam. This vapor enters the chamber, to form the obturator shaft and the bottom of the missile.
class SSBN "Le Redoutable" all 16 SLBM launchers placed in the set in the same compartment in two rows. According to some sources, the French SSBN and have had opportunity to launch their missiles and position of a surface, including the trip home. Automated command and control system installed on SSBNs provides automatic monitoring of missiles in PU, their preparation for the launch, if necessary, re-targeting and launching.