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The U.S. Navy conducted a scheduled one-missile test flight of an unarmed life-extended Trident II (D5LE) missile from USS Maine (SSBN-741), an Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine, on the Western Test Range off the coast of San Diego, California, today.
This test follows USS Maine's Demonstration and Shakedown Operation (designated DASO-30) conducted Feb. 12, also on the Western Test Range.
Today's scheduled test validated performance expectations of the life-extended Trident II (D5LE) Strategic Weapon System (SWS), and gathered additional data on the SWS' reliability, accuracy, and performance factors. This launch marks 178 successful missile launches of the Trident II (D5 &D5LE) strategic weapon system.
Test launches are conducted on a recurring basis to evaluate and ensure the continued reliability and accuracy of the strategic weapon system. Strategic Systems Programs is the Navy command that provides cradle-to-grave lifecycle support for the Navy's Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM) Trident II (D5LE) strategic weapon system.
SLBMs are the sea-based leg of the nation's strategic nuclear deterrent Triad that also includes the U.S. Air Force's intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) and nuclear-capable bombers. Each part of the Triad provides unique capabilities and advantages.
The sea-based leg makes up the majority approximately 70 percent of the U.S.'s deployed strategic nuclear deterrent Triad.
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