Missile sub USS Nebraska conducts test launches of Trident II ballistic missile

Missile sub USS Nebraska conducts test launches of Trident II ballistic missile
An unarmed Trident II D5 missile launches from the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Nebraska (SSBN 739) off the coast of San Diego, California, Sept. 4, 2019. U.S. Navy photo

[Ed. – Keeping the strategic deterrent in condition.  The Trident II (D-5) missile, launched from Ohio-class nuclear-powered missile submarines, is the sea-launched leg of the strategic nuclear triad, which also includes air-delivered nuclear munitions (from the B-2 Spirit and B-52 Stratofortress) and ground-launched ICBMs.  Test launches do not include live warheads.]

The U.S. Navy conducted four scheduled missile test flights of unarmed Trident II (D5) missiles from USS Nebraska (SSBN-739), an Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine, off the coast of Southern California this week.

The first two launches took place Sept. 4, and the last two were Sept. 6. All occurred before sunrise. …

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. …

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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.

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