In what one analyst sees as a demonstration of commitment to the United States and NATO, as well as a warning to Russia, France publicly announced Tuesday that its military had recently conducted a nuclear strike exercise.
During an 11-hour sortie involving a Rafale fighter, the French air force test-launched an ASMP or ASMP-A medium-range cruise missile, which can be armed with a nuclear warhead in the range of 100 kilotons.
Tom Rogan, a national security expert writing at the Washington Examiner, noted that the timing of the test is as important — or more so — than the actual test itself.
The test “compliments the U.S. decision earlier this week to withdraw from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty,” following “Russia’s breach of the INF treaty as part of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s broader effort to degrade NATO deterrent resolve,” he wrote.
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