US Navy carries out Trident II D5 missile testing

US Navy file photo of a Trident II D-5 ballistic missile launch from an Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine

A U.S. Navy ballistic missile submarine carried out four successful Trident II D5 missile launches over a three-day period, the U.S. Navy announced.

The missile launches were part of what is called a Follow-on Commander’s Evaluation Test (FCET) and were concluded on February 16.

The primary objective of an FCET is to obtain, under operationally representative conditions, valid reliability, accuracy, and performance of the missile system for use by Commander, Strategic Command and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The navy said the missiles were unarmed and all launches were conducted from the sea, flew over the sea, and landed in the sea. At no time did the missiles fly over land.

Trident II D5 is a submarine-launched ballistic missile which is one part of the nation’s strategic deterrent triad. As the most survivable leg of the triad, it provides the national command authority with assured second-strike capability. Since its introduction to the fleet in 1989, the Trident II D5 missile has completed 165 successful test flights.

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