A Nuclear-Armed Rafale

Check out this great picture of a French air force Rafale armed with what appears to be an ASMP-A (Air Sol Moyenne Porte Ameliore) nuclear missile. The latest variant of the missile can fly for 500 kilometers at speeds of Mach 3 with a 300 kiloton warhead. The weapon is designed to be used as a last-ditch warning shot prior to an all out attack by France's air-and-sea-based nuclear diad, the Force De Frappe.

The French air force's Strike Squadron 3/4 flying Mirage 2000Ns and Strike Squadron 1/91 flying the Rafales are both equipped with the missile.

I've got to say, I'm not sure how effective nuclear warning shots are if the other guy has nukes, too.

Props to Steve Trimble for finding this picture. Here's the original poster.

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