The U.S. Navy Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarine, USS Alaska (SSBN 732) arrived at the Royal Navy base of HMNB Clyde in Scotland for a port visit, on July 2.
“The port visit strengthens cooperation between the United States and United Kingdom, and demonstrates U.S. capability, flexibility, and continuing commitment to NATO allies.”, said a statement by U.S. Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM).
USS Alaska has been in commission with the U.S. Navy since 1986 and is capable of carrying up to 20 UGM-133A Trident II (Trident D5) submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM) with multiple nuclear warheads. The boat is one of five ballistic-missile submarines stationed at the Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay in Georgia.
Her Majesty’s Naval Base Clyde (HMNB Clyde; also HMS Neptune) primarily sited at Faslane is one of three operating bases of the Royal Navy in the UK (the others being HMNB Devonport and HMNB Portsmouth). It is the home for Navy’s Vanguard-class ballistic missile submarines armed with Trident missiles, the Royal Navy analogous to U.S. Navy Ohio-class submarines.
The mission of the SSBN force is strategic deterrence, which is the act of deterring a nuclear attack with effective nuclear deterrent force. SSBNs serve as an undetectable launch platform for submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs). They are considered the most survivable leg of the strategic deterrent triad; the other legs being long-range manned aircraft armed with nuclear bombs and land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).