U.S. Navy Ohio-class Ballistic Missile Submarine to Conduct Test Launch of Trident II SLBM This Month

The U.S. Navy has scheduled to conduct test launch of Trident II (D5) Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM) from one of its nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine (SSBN) later this month.

According to reports, the test is scheduled between June 20 to 26, 2018 from the Atlantic Ocean.

UGM-133A Trident II/D5

UGM-133A Trident II, or Trident D5 is a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), built by Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Sunnyvale, California, and deployed with the American and British navies.

It was first deployed in March 1990, and remains in service. The Trident II Strategic Weapons System is an improved SLBM with greater accuracy, payload, and range than the earlier Trident C-4. It is a key element of the U.S. strategic nuclear triad.

The missile has a range of 4,230 nautical miles (7,840 km) with full load and approx. 7,500 mi (12,000 km)
with reduced load (exact is classified) with a speculated circular error probable (CEP) of 90 metres (300 ft). The missile is guided with the MK 6 Astro-inertial guidance navigation system which is able to receive GPS (Global Positioning System) updates.

Trident II (D5) missiles are carried by 14 U.S. Navy Ohio-class and 4 British Royal Navy Vanguard-class nuclear powered ballistic missile submarines (SSBN).

The Ohio-class SSBNs are able to carry 24 missiles each while Vanguard-class submarines can carry 16 missiles each. The number of missiles on Ohio-class submarines will be reduced to 20 each in coming years, in compliance with the New Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty.

The D5 is the sixth in a series of missile generations deployed since the sea-based deterrent program began 60 years ago. The Trident D5LE (life-extension) version will remain in service until 2042.

Ohio-class SSBN

Ohio class of nuclear-powered submarines is the sole class of ballistic missile submarines (SSBN) currently in service with the United States Navy. The Ohio class replaced the Benjamin Franklin- and Lafayette-class SSBNs.

Fourteen of the eighteen boats are SSBNs, which, along with U.S. Air Force strategic bombers and intercontinental ballistic missiles, constitute the nuclear-deterrent triad of the U.S. The remaining four have been converted from their initial roles as SSBNs to cruise missile submarines (SSGNs). The 14 Trident II SSBNs together carry about half of U.S. active strategic thermonuclear warheads.

The Ohio-class boats, each displacing 18,750 tons submerged, are the third largest submarines in the world, behind the 48,000-ton Typhoon class and 24,000-ton Borei class of the Russian Navy. But, the Ohio-class boats carry more missiles than either: 24 Trident missiles apiece, versus 16 by the Borei class (20 by the Borei II) and 20 by the Typhoon class.



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