The Army's future prestrategic nuclear weapon, the mobile Hadès missile (dual-capable) with a 350-500 km range and ability to carry a 10-to-25 kt nuclear warhead, a neutron bomb, a conventional warhead or chemical agents, will replace the ageing Pluton SRBM in 1992. In April 1989, France, reportedly, could manufacture 200 Hadès missiles with 20-60 kt warheads, with an expected initial order of 90 units (Webster, 1989a:4). Other sources put the warhead capability at 80 to 100 kt (Westerlund 1990:44). The French Army plans to purchase altogether 180 Hadès missiles (SIPRI, 1989:32).
The Hadès division will comprise three artillery regiments, and the first will be installed with the 15th Artillery Regiement at Suippes in the Marne region of eastern France. The second will be stationed with the 3rd Regiment at Mailly in the Aube region, also in eastern France. The details concerning the final third have yet to be decided, but Belfort has been mentioned. The Hadès division will also have the RITA communications net, a Mistral surface-to-air missile battery and a support battalion (Isnard, 1989:419). The Hadès system will be disguised to resemble a semitrailer, which will be capable of carrying two 7.2 metres missiles with inertial guidance systems powered by solid propellant motors (Westerlund, 1990:44).
The French Chief of Defence Staff, General Maurice Schmitt, has said that France would not be prohibited from relocating the Hadès missile into the FRG, which is the case with the Pluton missile (Air et Cosmos, 1989b:5). Mitterrand has stated on several occasions that the missiles are only of 'final warning' characters and are not to be used as battlefield weapons. However, the fact is that if the missiles can be moved into the FRG, it will greatly expand French power alongside Allied forces, and may also serve to lower German anxiety that the missiles would fall on German territory.
The Hadès missile is supposed to be placed under the command of the of the Chief of Defence Staff, thereby, in fact, opening up the possibility of using it as a battlefield weapon. It also has the deterrent value in that it is permanently situated in Europe, because of its mobility, and is expected to be less easily intercepted by enemy missile defences. Critics say that it makes the doctrine of 'the weak against the strong' outdated, and is a step closer to the NATO doctrine of 'flexible response'. Supporters say that it is a sign that France no longer accepts isolation from its European allies, and has started to build on a common European defence (Isnard, 1988e:31).
Although the deployment of the Hadès missile has become increasingly sensitive because of the German unification plans, France has no plans to scrap the missiles. The Chief of Defence Staff, Maurice Schmitt reportedly said that the reduced force levels proposed so far in the START talks are still too high to attract French participation (Isnard, 1990e:28). According to Jaques Isnard, France could very well decide unilaterally to cut the Hadès regiments from three to two, but the possible use of the missiles will remain ambiguous. Minister of Defence Jean-Pierre Chevènement is even reported to have said that the old Tous Azimuths Doctrine is now more than ever real (see chapter 2). In other words, France's nuclear deterrent is not directed at any particular enemy, but in all directions...(Isnard, 1990e:28).
Is that the one used on the ASMP/ASMP-A? The TN-80/81 had a 300kT and a weight of 200kg.I'm still looking though different sources, so I'm not sure if it was a unitary warhead, an ICM (Improved Cluster Munitions) equivalent, or a choice between the two. I have come across however that there was yet another nuclear warhead available, this one in the 150-300 kiloton range and intended for use against Soviet Operational Maneuver Groups before they could enter West Germany.
It seems likely. Interestingly, the OMG countering mission was faded into the background (but not dropped) in 1988 when President Mitterrand assured Germany that Hades would not used against targets on German soil, east or west. It wasn't for nothing that Hades was nicknamed the 'Diplomatic Missile'.Is that the one used on the ASMP/ASMP-A? The TN-80/81 had a 300kT and a weigh of 200kg.
The range of the conventional warhead would have been around 480km. The range with the 300kt warhead would have been just over 400km (enough to cover the Inner German Border). The full 500km range would have been with the default nuclear warhead. Range with the originally planned 25kt warhead would have probably been a fair bit more. No details available on the Enhanced Radiation Weapon [neutron bomb] warhead apart from the fact that it existed in at least prototype form (officially France hadn't built any, but they were very confident that they could deploy ERW warheads in a hurry if and when required). The range of the chemical warheads would have varied depending on what they were filled with, dispersion mode, etc.Not sure whether the range was the same as the nuclear version due to the heavier warhead though.