The Shooting Star Missile Off California
Members of Congress and the U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) commander were aboard the USS Kentucky when the U.S. Navy’s Strategic Systems Programs (SSP) conducted a successful test flight of a Trident II D5 missile, November 7.
The D5 missile test flight was conducted to obtain valid reliability, accuracy and performance factors for use by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and USSTRATCOM.
According to U.S. media reports, the missile firing caused confusion among many residents on the western coast of the United States. People were shocked by a bright light in the sky on the night of November 7. San Diego wrote that reports about the “strange sighting” came from as far south as Mexico and as far north as the San Francisco Bay Area.
The unarmed test missile was launched as part of a Demonstration and Shakedown Operations from the USS Kentucky, an Ohio Class ballistic missile submarine (SSBN), in the Pacific Test Range off the coast of Southern California. The primary objective was to demonstrate the readiness of a SSBN’s crew and weapon system. This launch marked the 156th successful test flight of the Trident II (D5) missile conducted by SSP since 1989.
The unarmed test missile was also launched as part of a DASO from the USS Kentucky in the Pacific Test Range off the coast of Southern California.
Image: US Navy