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French M51 missile self-destroys shortly after launch: media


08:39, May 06, 2013

PARIS, May 5 (Xinhua) -- A French M51 ballistic missile self-destructed off the coast of Brittany during a test on Sunday, according to media reports.

The missile "self-destructed during its first propulsion phase... for an unknown reason," Lieutenant Commander Lionel Delort, a spokesman for the Atlantic Naval Prefecture, was quoted by AFP as saying.

"It was a failure, the reasons will be determined by an investigation," said the spokesman.

The test-fire was carried out from the Vigilant strategic nuclear submarine in the Bay of Audierne at 0730 GMT. The missile was not carrying a nuclear warhead and landed in the ocean after its destruction.

The M51 was put into operation in 2010 after five successful test launches and has a range of 8,000-10,000 km.

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