In 1963, at the request from the Armee de Terre, the Sud Aviation and Nord Aviation firms, under supervision of the Direction Technique des Engins (DTEN), were asked to develop a new tactical missile. This missile should have a range of more than 100 km, solid propellant and must be installed in a transporter-erector-launcher (TEL) derived from the AMX-30 main battle tank. In 1968 the contract was signed between Nord Aviation and the DTEN, which became the Societe National Industriel Aerospatiale (SNIAS). Later, they presented the first prototype vehicle designated as “VT-1”, (firing vehicle 1), which made the first firing test on July 3, 1970. The VT-2 prototype arrived in late 1971, and in 1972 came the VT-3 and VT-4 prototypes, with which the evaluation trials were completed. In 1973 arrived the “VTS”, (serial firing vehicle), and four vehicles were deployed with the 3rd Artillery Regiment in Mailly-le-Camp. Finally, in May 1974, was presented the Pluton tactical ballistic missile (TBM). A total of 40 launchers and 70 nuclear warheads of 10 or 25 kilotons were built. The Pluton missiles were distributed in 5 regiments with 8 launchers each. Each regiment had 6 operational launchers, divided into 3 firing batteries, and 2 reserve launchers. The Pluton missile system was retired in 1993.

PLUTON gallery and more info


Información adicional

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Country of origin



Societe National Industriel Aerospatiale (SNIAS)


Tactical ballistic missile

Entered service




System weight

38,000 kg

Dimensions (length x width x height)

7.80 x 3.14 meters

Armour, (maximum)

Steel: 50mm

Power plant

1 x Hispano Suiza HS.110 diesel engine, 680 hp


500 km

Missile/bomb dimensions, (length x diameter)

7.64 x 0.65 meters

Missile/bomb weight

2,423 kg

Missile speed

Mach 3.25 (3,981 km/h)

Missile range

120 km

Guidance system


Warhead, (explosive charge)

Weight: 500 kg – Fissile material: Plutonium – Type: AN.51 CTC fission device

Yield, (maximum)

15 or 25 Kilotons

C.E.P., (circular error probability)

200 meters


40 launcher vehicles + 70 nuclear warheads