French ballistic missile test launch fails

  • Associated Press
  • May 5, 2013 - 9:18 AM

PARIS - A French ballistic missile test has ended in failure after the missile destroyed itself just minutes after its launch from a nuclear submarine off the coast of Brittany.

The French Defense Ministry said in a statement that, as usual, the M51 missile was not armed with a nuclear warhead during the test Sunday. Debris from the missile fell in an area that was closed to sea and air traffic.

The ministry said it was investigating why the test failed. Sunday's was the first failure in the six tests of the M51 so far. The ministry began testing the missile in 2006.

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