France Carries Out Unusual Ballistic Missile Test As American Spy Plane Looks On | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

France Carries Out Unusual Ballistic Missile Test As American Spy Plane Looks On

France says it successfully conducted a test launch of an M51 submarine-launched ballistic missile earlier today from a land-based site on the country's northwestern Bay of Biscay coastline. Online flight tracking software also showed a U.S. Air Force RC-135S Cobra Ball aircraft, which is specifically configured to gather intelligence about ballistic missile tests, flying near where the weapon's inert payload was expected to impact the Atlantic Ocean north of Bermuda. Warning notices ahead of this test had indicated certain peculiarities, as The War Zone explored earlier this week, which had prompted discussion about whether this might have been a test of a new M51 variant or even a hypersonic weapon.

The French Ministry of Armed Forces issued a statement on the launch on April 28, 2021, stressing that the missile was not carrying any live nuclear warheads at the time and that the impact area in the North Atlantic was "several hundred kilometers from any coast." The statement confirmed that the test was carried out from the DGA Essais de Missiles, the country's central ballistic missile test facility. It is very possible that the weapon was fired from a submerged platform there, which simulates a launch from a submarine and that has been used in previous M51 tests. France conducted another M51 test across the Atlantic last year, but fired the weapon from the Triomphant class ballistic missile submarine Le Téméraire.