The U.S. Navy has reported on Friday that
has Ohio class of nuclear-powered submarine tested four life-extended Trident II D5 SLBM
(Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile) to validate their performance. A service news release states,
“The U.S. Navy conducted four scheduled missile test flights of unarmed Trident II
(D5) missiles from USS Nebraska (SSBN-739), an Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine,
off the coast of Southern California this week.” The first two launches took place Sept 4,
and the last two were Sept. 6. All occurred before sunrise. In this video, Defense Updates examine U.S
Navy testing of Trident II (D5) from USS Nebraska Ohio Ballistic Missile submarine Let’s get started. This video is sponsored by the free-to-play
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ship and three days of premium account time as a bonus. Viewers may note that Trident II was originally
designed to operate till 2024. But they went thought a life extension program,
that will enable them to be operated till the 2040s. Currently, they are deployed in U.S Ohio-class
and United Kingdom Vanguard-class SSBNs, and will also be deployed in upcoming U.S. Columbia-class
and U.K. Dreadnought-class SSBNs till a new missile is not developed. These test flights were part of a Commander
Evaluation Test (CET) CET is designed to validate performance of
the life-extended Trident II (D5) missile. Strategic missiles like Trident II are tested
regularly to examine their reliability, accuracy, and readiness. As of now, 176 successful flights of the Trident
II have been conducted. Vice Adm. Johnny R. Wolfe, director of the
Navy’s Strategic Systems Programs, the command responsible for the Navy’s strategic weapons
stated, “Our nation’s sea-based deterrent has
been a critical component of our national security since the 1960s, and this week’s
launches continue to demonstrate the credibility and reliability of our life-extended missiles,” Wolfe added,
“The life extended missiles are now being deployed to the Fleet, but ourwork is not
done,” He further explained,
“The nuclear deterrence mission is the Department of Defense’s No. 1 priority, and for the
U.S. Navy that means not only maintaining our current capability but also developing
the next generation of Trident missiles and shipboard strategic weapon system that will
ensure a credible sea-based deterrent for the next 40 years and beyond,” The Ohio class is a class of nuclear-powered
submarines that is considered to be one of the most lethal platforms in the world. The US navy has 18 Ohio-class submarines:
14 ballistic missile submarines (SSBN) and 4 that were later converted to guided missile
submarines (SSGN). The Ohio-class boats entered service in the
1980s as a replacement for 5 different classes of ballistic-missile submarines Ohio class was created to be the ultimate
nuclear deterrence. The logic of nuclear deterrence is like this,
while a first strike might wipe out a country’s land-based missiles and nuclear bombers, it’s
very difficult to track a ballistic-missile submarine patrolling quietly in the depths
of the ocean and it is almost impossible to take them all out in a first strike. So, ballistic-missile submarines deter any
enemy from launching a preemptive first strike. The Ohio-class submarines are the largest
submarines ever built for the U.S Navy having a displacement of 16764 tons. These have a length of 560 ft (170 m) and
have a speed of around 20 to 25 knots. Being nuclear powered it has unlimited range
and endurance, limited only by food supplies. Each Ohio-class submarine has two crews of
154 officers and enlisted personnel, designated Gold and Blue, who take turns departing on
patrols that last an average of 70 to 90 days underwater—with the longest on the record
being 140 days by the USS Pennsylvania. An average of a month is spent between patrols,
with resupply facilitated by 3 large-diameter supply hatches. The submarines of this class have multiple
sensors. The surface search, navigation, and fire control
radar is BPS 15A I/J-band radar. The sonar suite includes: IBM BQQ 6 passive
search sonar, Raytheon BQS 13, BQS 15 active and passive high-frequency sonar, BQR 15 passive
towed array from Western Electric and the active BQR 19 navigation sonar from Raytheon. Kollmorgen Type 152 and Type 82 periscopes
are fitted. Ohio-class submarines also come armed with
four 21-inch tubes that can launch Mark 48 torpedoes. Mark 48 torpedo has a range of 50 km or 31
miles. it has 650 lb (290 kg) high explosive warhead. However, these are intended primarily for
self-defense—a ballistic missile submarine’s job isn’t to hunt enemy ships and submarines,
but to lie as low and quiet as possible to deny rivals any means of tracking their movements. USS Nebraska (SSBN-739) is the 14th Ohio-class
ballistic missile submarine. She was commissioned on 10 July 1993. The first 8 Ohio-class boats were originally
built to launch the Trident I C4 ballistic missile—an advanced version of the earlier
Poseidon SLBM. However, by now all of these are armed with
the superior Trident II D5 ballistic missile. Trident II was designed to be more advanced
than its predecessor Trident I. Trident II is put into service in 1990, it
has a greater range and payload capacity compared to Trident I. The missile is 13.579 m in length, 2.11 m
in diameter and weighs in at 58.5 tonnes. It is a three-stage rocket, each stage containing
a solid-fuel rocket motor. It is thought to have an accuracy of 90 m
CEP Trident II has a range of 11000 km or 6835
miles and Ohio class ballistic missile submarines carries 24 of these. Trident II is a Multiple Independently targetable
Reentry Vehicle (MIRV) missile Each Trident II can carry up to 14 W88 (475
kt) warheads or 14 W76 (100 kt) warheads. To give the viewer a perspective, Little Boy
atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima had a yield of 15 kt of TNT and Fat Man atomic bomb that
was detonated over Nagasaki had a yield of 21 kt of TNT. New START (Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty)
between the United States and the Russian Federation agreed on having only 8 warheads
per missile, so currently, each Trident II are armed with 8 warheads. In short, a full salvo from an Ohio-class
submarine—which can be launched in less than one minute—could unleash up to 24 multiple
8 i.e. 192 nuclear warheads. This is enough to obliterate huge landmass. The 14 Ballistic Missile Submarines of Ohio
class together carry approximately 50% of the total US active inventory of strategic
thermonuclear warheads. A credible, effective nuclear deterrent is
essential to the national security of the U.S. Not only this, U.S is also, directly and indirectly,
responsible for the security of many nations including NATO members. Ballistic Missile submarines are the cornerstone
of America’s nuclear posturing and will remain so for foreseeable future. The Trident II SLBM deployed in Ohio class
subs is the most survivable part of America’s nuclear deterrent and allows great operational
flexibility. In this situation, it is paramount that the
U.S regularly validates these missiles. This is especially true when we consider the
fact that the missiles went through the life extension program. Till now in 176 tests there are less than
10 failures, compare to 10 failures of Russian Bulava SLBM in 27 tests. The statistics are even more impressive if
we keep in mind that Russian Bulava is a much newer missile. This demonstrates the solid reliability of
Trident II missile and Ohia class submarines as a platform.

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