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The successful launch of two Trident II D5 Life Extension missiles by the USS Nebraska has demonstrated the readiness of the crew and strategic weapon system say the US Navy.

The test, known as Demonstration and Shakedown Operation 28, took place in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of southern California earlier in the week.

“In addition to certifying the submarine and crew for patrol, the test launch collected valuable data about the performance of the D5 Life Extension missile configuration,” said Eric Scherff, vice president of Navy Strategic Programs at Lockheed Martin.

“Instead of warheads, the missiles carried test kits and instrumentation to give us troves of information about flight and subsystem performance. The joint government and industry team will use this data to assess performance and to inform maintenance and sustainment plans for the upgraded Trident missile fleet for decades to come.”

Lockheed say that the joint government-industry team achieved initial fleet introduction of the D5 Life Extension, or LE, design last year. With modernised electronics and upgraded avionics subsystems, the Trident II D5 LE configuration will be in service with the US Navy and Royal Navy through the 2040s.

The Life Extension programme modernised the submarine-launched ballistic missile while maintaining the proven performance of the D5 missile for significantly less than the cost of designing a new missile.

DASO-28 increased the Trident II D5 record to 167 successful test launches since design completion in 1989 – the most reliable test record for a large ballistic missile.

26 COMMENTS

  1. Fantastic news. Long may the deterrent do its job. I look forward to them flying in tests from the Vanguards and Dreadnoughts. MAD clearly works, . Money very well spent, just wish HMG would invest more in the conventional side of business.

    • Really not sure MAD actually works. My feeling is mass media and Vietnam is what killed off high end wars, combined with 2 world wars where no nation really came out of them better than they entered. Take away nukes and can you realistically predict the result of a tier 1 nation against another, it would rapidly turn into a huge war of attition and death of millions of people.

      • p.s. sooner or later someone will find a way to counter a balastic missile and when it happens I really hope I am right. to counter them you need seriously fast calculations to track and realiably target the missle and that day gets closer every day. right now they can’t reliably track the missile prior to reentry (final phase) but that is just fast sums and it will be achieved one day

      • Actually, the massive warfare on an industrial scale of the 20th century is pretty much gone. Look at most Western countries, Russia, even to a lesser extent the US, the heavy industry that supported the world wars is long gone. We’ve essentially reverted back to the 18th and 19th centuries, where everyone has smaller, highly trained and well armed armies that would take decades to fully recover from the meatgrinders of industrial warfare. No one can afford to lose what they have, so the choice of where and when to deploy could decide the entire war. Modern equipment just isn’t easily replaceable like old kit

      • “2 world wars where no nation really came out of them better than they entered.”
        Well… Two nations in particular spring to mind…

      • You seem to have fallen prey to the belief that our ancestors did not know EXACTLY what they were doing. Mass media is not new in western countries. By the time of the American Civil War a man in London or Paris could read about the massive numbers of dead only a day after a major battle.
        The moment a counter to the current WMDs are developed to the point where even a poor country could deploy it a new one will simply be developed.
        Even if you managed the ill-advised idea of removing WMDs. Consider this, what ever you may personally find an abhorrent cost of war someone else may not agree and pay it any way. The other important consideration is remember war has always been expensive, and whether or not a torch or a bomber Humanity has always been able to turn it’s cities into funeral pyres.
        Also on WWII my country did. Did we pay a cost yes. But we also had one the largest expansions of the economy in American history. While acquiring enough bases overseas to ensure that any conceivable National adversary would be fought abroad not at home. We ensured that Europe not only would not but could not become a threat for a hundred years.

        • what changed in Vietnam was that there were battle fields reporters for the first time freely reporting on what was going on and the world saw the real impact of war with children and families getting killed. prior to that there was mass media but it was highly controlled what they saw or could report. Vietnam changed the way the world saw war, it was no longer good vs evil but something far worse.

  2. These sums of money expended on military matters seem to be haemorrhaging. I have read that the French have far larger forces but spend far less on them and what is more, aren’t propped up by the US in the way this country is. Where on earth is all this taxpayer money going? This is not sustainable. One could not run one’s own affairs in this reckless way.

  3. I took a lifetime including years spent wearing the uniform of this country’s armed forces to learn something very simple . What a waste of human life on all sides. Why do we never learn that war solves nothing but kills the young so the old that runs the machine can feel good? It’s time to turn to peace.

    • If you want peace. Prepare for war.

      Your sentiment is admirable. But if one nation such as the UK unilaterally disarms do other nations follow suit?

      Maybe in a parallel universe they would.

    • If you’ve no interest in the contents of the article and are just here to push your political agenda then don’t bother.

    • Oh look found the commie. That or the Jihadi sympathizer.
      Indoctrination and exploitation? Service has lifted my family out of poverty taught many of by teaching them trades. Given us opportunity and discipline that was otherwise unavailable. Without it some of the best lifelong friendships would never have been made.
      Service is what you make it same as ever other profession if not more so.
      Be a whiner however, shirker, and coward and you get what you deserve the contempt of your comrades and a truly miserable service term.

      • Flinging insults around rarely informs the debate. Watch the video. The guy in it is ex SAS and no meat-head, shirker or coward. He may not say things you want to hear but it is interesting to see how soldiers are conditioned for combat.

    • I have been there thank you very much. Hundreds of contacts in Afghan and Iraq under my belt so i know more than most about the horrors of combat.
      The fact remains though, the best way to ensure the peace and ensure no other country threatens you is to have a strong military. Thats not warmongering thats just reality.

  4. Harold come on, I joined as a junior soldier at 16 it wasn’t that nice it fact it was fairly brutal. But the purpose is to train soldiers not kindergarten teachers.

    We have the best soldiers in the world because of the training and culture.

    Training should be like war, so war becomes like training.

    PS my son is in the army, joined in 2013. He enjoys most of it.

    • Thank you for serving our nation Mike. And also Harold.

      Harold. Imagine 2 houses, and a burglar wishes to enter one of them.

      He does a check on the house and peeks through the letterbox. Keys on a table nearby, windows open, valuables on display.

      He checks the second house. He looks through the letter box and sees the owner in combats with a loaded shotgun pointed directly at him from a few feet.

      Which one would YOU burgle?

      My feeling is that mankind, for all its faults, will always have tribal warfare in its genes, for right or wrong.

      A nation deciding to disarm for some supposed higher moral ground is just virtue signalling that ends in disaster.

      Bullies need standing up to.

    • Old enough to understand that peace comes at a price, if you are not prepared to pay that price then war is inevitable.

      Through out human history pacifism and appeasement has failed to bring about long lasting peace.

      Preserve the peace by preparing for war.

    • What I will never learn is that pacifism is any way a moral act instead of one of moral cowardice. For it is the pacifist who sends young men off to die without equipment or training. Their lack of conviction to the welfare and defense of the nation makes them wait to long and cause more death than otherwise would have occurred.
      When men are sent off without what is needed it is either the fault of cheapskates, welfare rats, and pacifists. Of them at least the cheapskates and welfare rats can rationalize their cuts on the basis of other priorities. The pacifist however is merely trying to enforce his false sense of morality on others.

    • Harold you are talking bull manure.

      If you have problem with your military service I suggest you talk to a priest.

      You are in a very small minority, the overwhelming majority of current and former service personnel are proud of their time in the armed forces.

      I suggest you take your message to somewhere it may be appreciated like CND.

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