The first two launches took place Sept. 4, and the last two were Sept. 6. All occurred before sunrise.
These test flights were part of a Commander Evaluation Test (CET) whose primary goal was to validate performance expectations of the life-extended Trident II (D5) strategic weapon system.
These launches mark 176 successful flights of the Trident II (D5) strategic weapon system. CETs and other flight tests are conducted on a recurring, scheduled basis to evaluate and ensure the continued reliability and accuracy of the system. The missile tests were not conducted in response to any ongoing world events.
“Our nation’s sea-based deterrent has been a critical component of ournational security since the 1960s, and this week’s launches continue to demonstrate the credibility and reliability of our life-extended missiles”
Vice Adm. Johnny R. Wolfe, director of the U.S. Navy’s Strategic Systems Programs
About Trident II (D5) SLBM
The Trident II (D5) strategic weapon system, originally designed with a life span to 2024, recently underwent a life extension that will keep it operational through the late 2040s. The life-extended missiles will serve for the remaining service life of U.S Ohio-class and United Kingdom Vanguard-class SSBNs, and as the initial loadout for the U.S. Columbia-class and U.K. Dreadnought-class SSBNs. The life extension program addressed potential aging and obsolescence issues.
UGM-133A Trident II / Trident D5 Specifications
Mass: 59,000 kg
Length: 13.579 m
Diameter: 2.11 m (1st stage)
Warhead: 8–14 MIRV (Multiple Independently-targetable Re-entry Vehicle) W88 or W76 thermonuclear weapons
Operational range: More than 12,000 km
Speed: Approximately 29,020 km/h (Mach 24; 8,060 m/s) in terminal phase
Accuracy: 90 m with Mk5 RV
About USS Nebraska (SSBN 739)
USS Nebraska (SSBN 739) is the 14th submarine of the Ohio class of ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs), and the second U.S. Navy ship to bear the name.
The keel of Nebraska was laid on July 6, 1987, and she was christened on Aug. 15, 1992 by Mrs. Patricia Exon, wife of U.S. Sen. J. James Exon. Nebraska was commissioned on July 10, 1993 at Groton, Conn., and assigned to Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Ga.
While stationed on the East Coast, Nebraska completed her first strategic deterrent patrol in August 1994 and became the first Ohio-class submarine to visit Europe and Halifax, Nova Scotia. In 1996, Nebraska was honored by U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM) as the SSBN recipient of the Omaha Trophy for excellence in strategic deterrence.
As part of an effort to balance the nation’s strategic assets, Nebraska shifted her homeport to Naval Submarine Base Bangor, Wash., in October 200. Since then, Nebraska has continued her tradition of excellence, receiving the Battle Efficiency Award (Battle “E”) in 2010 and 2011.
Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine specifications
Displacement: 16,764 metric tons surfaced / 18,750 metric tons submerged
Length: 560 ft (170 m)
Beam: 42 ft (13 m)
– 1 x S8G PWR nuclear reactor
– 2 x geared turbines
– 1 x 325 hp (242 kW) auxiliary motor
– 1 x shaft @ 60,000 shp (45,000 kW)
Speed: Greater than 25 knots (46 km/h; 29 mph)
Test depth: +800 ft (240 m)
Crew: 15 officers, 140 enlisted
Sensors and processing systems:
– BQQ-6 Bow mounted Sonar
– BQR-19 Navigation
– BQS-13 Active Sonar
– TB-16 towed array
– MK-48 torpedoes
– 24 x Trident II D-5 ballistic missiles