Le missile balistique : aviation stratégique du pauvre ?

Penser les Ailes françaises

Revue du Ministère des Armées - n°33

Regardless of the risks associated with proliferating states, however, the pronounced diffusion of deep strike capabilities linked to rockets and SRBMs poses a fundamental problem, creating vulnerabilities in the face of Western forces which have less and less infrastructure. and whose forces are articulated around now limited volumes. In the face of these threats, missile defense is only a partial solution that must be complemented by strengthening the conventional strike capability. However, from this point of view, the reflection of the European States is probably incomplete and remains focused on the development of air resources, out of step with the systems developed by the United States, by Russia and by China but also by a number of people. growing minor military powers. In a tight budgetary context, it may not be uninteresting to assess whether additional solutions should be explored.

JULY 2020 

Stéphane Delory


The ballistic missile is regularly equated with a kind of “strategic aviation of the poor”

Depuis la première guerre du Golfe (1991), le missile balistique est régulièrement assimilé à une sorte « d’aviation stratégique du pauvre », devant permettre aux États ne disposant pas de la technologie, de la base industrielle ou encore des ressources suffisantes pour se doter d’une aviation performante, de disposer de moyens de frappe dans la profondeur à un coût acceptable. L’épisode de la guerre des villes entre l’Iran et l’Irak et le phénomène de prolifération balistique qui l’a suivi ont fortement contribué à alimenter cette théorie, tout comme la relance du programme antimissile américain, qui vise précisément à limiter la capacité stratégique offerte par les armes balistiques.

Click here to download the report (in French)

Research Papers

Origins and Development of the Hague Code of Conduct  

This paper recalls the state of ballistic missile proliferation at the time of the adoption of the Code, before delving into the genesis of the Code and especially the various reports and meetings that promoted the adoption of a supply-side multilateral instrument. It describes the conferences and diplomatic efforts that led to the Code in 2002. It also explains why the Code ended up the way it is today with modest ambitions but concrete outcomes.

Read More »
Research Papers

Harnessing Transparency Potential for Missile Non-Proliferation

Information is key for non-proliferation efforts. But the times when information was the exclusive purview of governments are over. Affordable, commercial and open-source monitoring capabilities empower states and societies alike, while challenging the ability of governments to preserve secrecy. Technological democratisation means that information is practically becoming a public good. And it allows for unprecedented transparency.

Read More »