Air-Sol Moyenne Portée
The Air-Sol Moyenne Portée (ASMP; medium-range air to surface missile) is a French
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 air-launched nuclear
Nuclear weapon
A nuclear weapon is an explosive device that derives its destructive force from nuclear reactions, either fission or a combination of fission and fusion. Both reactions release vast quantities of energy from relatively small amounts of matter. The first fission bomb test released the same amount...

Though a missile may be any thrown or launched object, it colloquially almost always refers to a self-propelled guided weapon system.-Etymology:The word missile comes from the Latin verb mittere, meaning "to send"...

. Part of the Force de frappe
Force de frappe
The Force de Frappe is the designation of what used to be a triad of air-, sea- and land-based nuclear weapons intended for dissuasion, and consequential deterrence...

, in French nuclear doctrine it is the last-resort "warning shot
Warning shot
A warning shot is a military term describing harmless artillery shot or gunshot intended to call attention and demand some action of compliance...

" prior to a full-scale employment of strategic nuclear weapons. The missile's construction was contracted to Aérospatiale
Aérospatiale was a French aerospace manufacturer that built both civilian and military aircraft, rockets and satellites. It was originally known as Société Nationale Industrielle Aérospatiale...

's Tactical Missile Division, now part of MBDA
MBDA is a missile developer and manufacturer with operations in France, Britain, Germany, Italy, and the United States. It was formed by a merger of Aérospatiale-Matra Missiles , Finmeccanica and Matra BAe Dynamics in December 2001. In 2003 the company had 10,000 employees...


ASMP entered service in 1986, replacing the earlier free-fall AN-22 bomb
AN-22 bomb
The AN-22 was France's second air-dropped nuclear weapon, developed as a replacement for the earlier AN-11 bomb, entering service in 1967. It had a similar 60 to 70 kilotons yield fission warhead to the earlier AN-11, but with enhanced safety features and a parachute retarder to enable it to be...

 on France's Dassault Mirage IV
Dassault Mirage IV
The Dassault Mirage IV was a French jet-propelled supersonic strategic bomber and deep-reconnaissance aircraft. For many years it was a vital part of the nuclear triad of the Force de Frappe, France's nuclear deterrent striking force.-Development:...

 aircraft and the AN-52 bomb
AN-52 bomb
The AN-52 was a French tactical nuclear weapon carried by fighter bomber aircraft.The weapon was first tested on 28 August 1972, and entered service in October of that year. Between 80 and 100 bombs were manufactured for use by French tactical aircraft....

 on Dassault Super Étendard
Dassault Super Étendard
The Dassault-Breguet Super Étendard is a French carrier-borne strike fighter aircraft designed for service with the French Navy...

. About 84 weapons are stockpiled. Carrier aircraft are the Dassault Mirage 2000N, Rafale
Dassault Rafale
The Dassault Rafale is a French twin-engine delta-wing multi-role jet fighter aircraft designed and built by Dassault Aviation. Introduced in 2000, the Rafale is being produced both for land-based use with the French Air Force and for carrier-based operations with the French Navy...

, and Super Étendard; the earlier Mirage IVP was completely retired in 1996.

ASMP is 5.38 m long and weighs 860 kg. It is a supersonic
Supersonic speed is a rate of travel of an object that exceeds the speed of sound . For objects traveling in dry air of a temperature of 20 °C this speed is approximately 343 m/s, 1,125 ft/s, 768 mph or 1,235 km/h. Speeds greater than five times the speed of sound are often...

 stand-off missile powered by a liquid-fuel ramjet
A ramjet, sometimes referred to as a stovepipe jet, or an athodyd, is a form of airbreathing jet engine using the engine's forward motion to compress incoming air, without a rotary compressor. Ramjets cannot produce thrust at zero airspeed and thus cannot move an aircraft from a standstill...

. It flies at Mach 2 to Mach 3, with a range between 80 km and 300 km depending on flight profile. Warhead
The term warhead refers to the explosive material and detonator that is delivered by a missile, rocket, or torpedo.- Etymology :During the early development of naval torpedoes, they could be equipped with an inert payload that was intended for use during training, test firing and exercises. This...

 is a single TN 81
TN 81
The French TN 81 nuclear warhead equips the Air-Sol Moyenne Portée medium-range air to surface missile, a component of the Force de frappe French nuclear deterrent.Type: nuclear warhead for ASMPSpecifications:* thermonuclear...

 with two yield options, 150 and 300 kt of TNT.

An advanced version known as ASMP-A has a range of about 500 km at a speed of up to Mach 3 with the new TNA (tête nucléaire aéroporté) 300kt thermonuclear warhead. It entered service in October 2009 with the Mirage 2000NK3 of squadron EC 3/4 at Istres and on July 2010 with the Rafales of squadron EC 1/91 at Saint Dizier.

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