A two-missile Trident II test flight is conducted by the USS Wyoming submarine.


A two-missile Trident II test flight is conducted by the USS Wyoming submarine.

According to the US Navy Strategic Systems Programs, the USS Wyoming performed a two-missile test flight of unarmed life-extended Trident II-D5LE missiles on the Eastern Test Range off the coast of Cape Canaveral, Fla., over the weekend.

The Wyoming is an Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine, and the test on Friday was intended to assess the vessel’s Strategic Weapons System and crew’s preparedness ahead of a planned refueling overhaul.

In a news statement, USSTRATCOM head of Global Operations Rear Adm. Thomas E. Ishee remarked, “The DASO test, and others like it, underline our readiness and capabilities for 21st Century Strategic Deterrence.”

“SSBN sailors are constantly trained and armament systems are tested on a regular basis to guarantee they are ready and reliable. Every day, the sailors and support personnel who make up the silent service demonstrate that they are capable and ready to defend America and its allies,” Ishee said.

The Pentagon recently completed a life extension program for Trident II D5 missiles in order to avoid potential aging and obsolescence issues and keep the weapons operational until at least 2040.

The Navy announced that the life-extended Trident II, or D5LE, missiles will now be deployed to the Ohio-class and UK Vanguard-class SSBNs, as well as the initial load-out for the US Columbia-class and UK Dreadnought-class SSBNs.

Friday’s launch was the Trident II (D5 and D5LE) SWS’s 184th successful missile test flight.

In a statement released Friday, Vice Admiral Johnny R. Wolfe, director of Navy Strategic Systems Programs, said, “Today’s test demonstrates the unmatched reliability of our sea-based nuclear deterrent, which is made possible by a dedicated team of military, civilian, and industry partners who bring expertise and dedication to the mission that is truly extraordinary.”

“The same team is currently working on the next version of the Trident Strategic Weapon System, which will extend our sea-based strategic deterrent until 2084,” Wolfe continued.

Submarine-launched ballistic missiles account for over 70% of the nation’s sea-based strategic nuclear deterrent triad, which also includes intercontinental ballistic missiles and nuclear-capable bombers from the US Air Force.

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