US successfully tests trident II ballistic missile capable of carrying nuclear warhead
- 17 February 2020
The United States on Sunday successfully tested an unarmed life-extended Trident II (D5LE) ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, the US Navy said, APA reports quoting Sputnik.
According to the statement, the missile was launched from the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Maine (SSBN-741) off the coast of San Diego, California.
"Today's scheduled test validated performance expectations of the life-extended Trident II (D5LE) Strategic Weapon System (SWS) and gathered additional data on the SWS' reliability, accuracy, and performance factors. This launch marks 178 successful missile launches of the Trident II (D5 &D5LE) strategic weapon system", the statement said.
Note that The Trident II 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, according to the US Navy.
Submarine-launched ballistic missiles Trident II comprise about 70 percent of the US nuclear deterrent, which also includes the US Air Force's intercontinental ballistic missiles and nuclear-capable bombers.