US Navy’s ballistic missile submarine USS Nebraska (SSBN-739) launched four unarmed Trident II (D5) missiles in two tests off the coast of Southern California.
The Ohio-class boat launched the first two missiles on Sept. 4, and the last two on Sept. 6. All occurred before sunrise.
These test flights were part of a Commander Evaluation Test (CET) whose primary goal was to validate performance expectations of the life-extended Trident II (D5) strategic weapon system.
The navy noted that the missile tests were not conducted in response to any ongoing world events.
These launches mark 176 successful flights of the Trident II (D5) strategic weapon system. CETs and other flight tests are conducted on a recurring, scheduled basis to evaluate and ensure the continued reliability and accuracy of the system.
The Trident II (D5) 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. The life-extended missiles will serve for the remaining service life of US Ohio-class and United Kingdom Vanguard-class SSBNs, and as the initial loadout for the US Columbia-class and UK Dreadnought-class SSBNs.