Stragegic Oceanic Force
A vintage poster of the FOST, the strategic oceanic force of the french navy
The Strategic Oceanic Force is the maritime component of France's nuclear deterrent. It consists of ballistic missile nuclear submarines (SNLE) equipped with intercontinental ballistic missiles. This force represents a key element of French defense policy and aims to guarantee national security and independence.
The French SSBNs are very discreet submarines, capable of patrolling underwater for long periods. They are equipped with M51-type strategic sea-to-surface ballistic missiles (MSBS), which have intercontinental range and are capable of carrying nuclear warheads. These missiles allow France to have a long-range nuclear strike capability, capable of reaching targets located thousands of kilometers away.
The Strategic Oceanic Force is managed by the French Navy, which provides planning and implementation of submarine patrols. These patrols are highly confidential and the number of SSBNs at sea at any time is not disclosed.
French nuclear deterrence is based on the principle of "credible deterrence", which aims to deter any aggression by threatening nuclear reprisals. The Strategic Oceanic Force ensures this deterrence by guaranteeing a second strike capability, that is to say a nuclear response in the event of an attack against France, even in the event of the partial destruction of the country.
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