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Royal Navy fails launch of Trident II strategic missile, casting doubt on British nuclear deterrence capability



A Trident missile misfired and crashed into the ocean off the coast of Florida during a very rare test launch by a British nuclear submarine. It was an embarrassing blow to the Royal Navy’s handling of Britain’s nuclear deterrence, which is now in doubt.

The Ministry of Defense confirmed on Tuesday night that an “anomaly” occurred during the exercise involving HMS Vanguard, but a spokesman insisted that the nuclear deterrent, the cornerstone of the UK’s defenses, “remains safe, secure, and effective.” There are happy doubts, but there are some doubts one begins to have.

Here is a video of the last successful launch of a British Trident II, which took place 11 years ago

The flaw was due to the fact that it was a test launch. A source said the launch would have been successful if it had really been carried out with a nuclear warhead, which is all to be proven and seems to be a communication made to reassure the public.

The Sun newspaper first revealed the drama, which occurred on Jan. 30, stating that Defense Secretary Grant Shapps was aboard the submerged submarine at the time. The missile was correctly propelled by the primary charge, the compressed gas that is supposed to eject the missile from the water, but then the missile fell a few meters from the ship because the main engine failed to fire.

The submarine was underwater, so the failure to ignite caused no damage to the ship, despite the fact that the strategic carrier weighs 59 tons with the warhead, but probably less in this unarmed configuration.


 Successful and failed launches from The Sun

This is the second consecutive failure of the Trident missile for the Royal Navy’s ageing nuclear weapons fleet, following a problem with another test firing in 2016.At the time, a missile launched from HMS Vengeance had a similar incident in 2016, so it has been more than eight years since the UK has successfully failed to launch a strategic missile.

The Trident II is a strategic nuclear missile, weighing 59 tons and nearly 15 meters long, capable of carrying numerous reentry vehicles and traveling 12,000 kilometers at a speed up to 24 times that of sound. Its design dates back to the 1980s, and it has been deployed on British and American submarines since 1990. The missile has been upgraded several times, but it is now outdated.


The UK has four nuclear-armed submarines tasked with ensuring that a craft is constantly at sea to deter nuclear threats from enemies such as Russia and to be ready to respond if the worst happens and the UK or its allies suffer a nuclear attack. Four other dreadnought-class submarines are planned.


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