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Trident II Ballistic Missile Successfully Tested by U.S. Navy SSBN USS Louisiana

Photo: The Diplomat

In a historic milestone for the U.S. Navy’s Strategic Systems Programs, the Trident II ballistic missile showcased its unmatched reliability during a scheduled test launch from the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Louisiana (SSBN-743).

Trident II Ballistic Missile Successfully Tested by U.S. Navy SSBN USS Louisiana (Photo: Naval News)

Naval Triumph Off San Diego Coast: Trident II D5LE Missile Test Shines

In a recent development featured by the Naval News, in September 29, 2023, the U.S. Navy’s Trident II ballistic missile system continues to assert its unmatched reliability with another successful test launch. In a historic milestone, the Ohio-class Trident II  ballistic missile submarine USS Louisiana (SSBN-743) conducted a Demonstration and Shakedown Operation-32 (DASO-32) off the coast of San Diego, California. This test marks the 191st successful missile launch of the Trident II ballistic missile system, which has been operational since 1989.

VADM Johnny Wolfe, Jr., Director of Strategic Systems Programs, expressed immense pride in the government-industry team responsible for this achievement. Beyond its proven reliability, this test underscores the pivotal role of Trident II ballistic missile in sustaining the nation’s sea-based strategic deterrence capability.

The Trident II ballistic missile(D5LE) strategic weapon system has firmly held its place as a highly accurate and dependable weapon system since its introduction. It has been actively deployed on Ohio-class SSBNs since 1990 and remains the system of choice for U.S. Ohio-class and United Kingdom Vanguard-class SSBNs. Additionally, it forms the initial loadout for the forthcoming U.S. Columbia-class and U.K. Dreadnought-class SSBNs. This reliability stems from recurring test launches that continually evaluate and ensure the accuracy and effectiveness of the Trident II ballistic missile system. These launches play a pivotal role in bolstering confidence in the nation’s strategic weapon capabilities.

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Sea-Based Deterrence: A Cornerstone of National Security

According to the report published by U.S Pacific Fleet, the success of Trident II (D5LE) missile tests reinforces the importance of sea-based deterrence within the U.S. nuclear triad. Sea-based nuclear capabilities constitute approximately 70 percent of the nation’s deployed strategic nuclear deterrent. With its survivability, persistent presence, and adaptable operational concepts, the sea-based leg Trident II ballistic missile of the triad provides unique advantages.

As the U.S. and its allies continue to prioritize national security in the 21st century, a credible and effective nuclear deterrent remains vital. Strategic Systems Programs, responsible for the Trident II ballistic missile (D5LE) system’s lifecycle support, is not only maintaining the current system but also looking ahead to the future by developing the next-generation strategic weapon system, ensuring the nation’s security through 2084.

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