A US Navy Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine deployed to Submarine Group 10 fired three Trident II D5 missiles marking the conclusion of a follow-on commander’s evaluation test (FCET).
Carried out for three days, the FCET-52 operation marked the 158th, 159th, and 160th successful test flights of the Trident II D5 missile.
The test aims to attain under operationally representative conditions, valid reliability, accuracy, and performance of the missile system to be used by the US Commander, Strategic Command and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
During the FCET, the unarmed missiles were fired from the sea and landed in the sea. The missiles did not fly over the land.
The exercise is said to exhibit the operational readiness of the Trident missile.
The missile capability is considered as an essential part of the US Navy’s strategic deterrent triad, which offers the national command authority with assured second-strike capability.
The Trident missile is a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) with multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicle (MIRV) capabilities, and is the primary weapon carried by the US Navy’s Ohio-class submarines.
The missile is sophisticated three-stage, solid-propellant, and inertially guided; capable of carrying a heavy payload, and is accurate enough to be a first strike, counterforce, or second strike weapon.
Image: A Trident II D-5 ballistic missile is launched from the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS West Virginia (SSBN 736). Photo: courtesy of US Navy photo/Released.