U.S. Navy has tested four life-extended Trident II D5 missiles.
Unarmed Trident II missiles launched from the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Nebraska on Friday.
These launches mark 176 successful flights of the Trident II (D5) strategic weapon system. CETs and other flight tests are conducted on a recurring, scheduled basis to evaluate and ensure the continued reliability and accuracy of the system. The missile tests were not conducted in response to any ongoing world events.
“Our nation’s sea-based deterrent has been a critical component of ournational security since the 1960s, and this week’s launches continue to demonstrate the credibility and reliability of our life-extended missiles,” said Vice Adm. Johnny R. Wolfe, director of the Navy’s Strategic Systems Programs, the command responsible for the Navy’s strategic weapons.
The Trident II (D5) strategic weapon system, originally designed with a life span to 2024, recently underwent a life extension that will keep it operational through the late 2040s. The life-extended missiles will serve for the remaining service life of U.S Ohio-class and United Kingdom Vanguard-class SSBNs, and as the initial loadout for the U.S. Columbia-class and U.K. Dreadnought-class SSBNs.
Strategic Systems Programs is the Navy command that provides cradle-to-grave lifecycle support for the sea-based leg of the nation’s nuclear triad. This includes training, systems, equipment, facilities and personnel responsible for ensuring the safety, security, and effectiveness of the nation’s Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM) Trident II (D5) strategic weapon system.
SLBMs are one leg of the nation’s strategic nuclear deterrent triad that also includes the U.S. Air Force’s intercontinental ballistic missiles(ICBMs) and nuclear-capable bombers. Each part of the Triad provides unique capabilities and advantages. SLBMs make up about 70 percent of the U.S.’s deployed strategic nuclear deterrent Triad. The SLBM is the most survivable, provides persistent presence and allows flexible concept of operations.