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SSBN 738 successfully launches two Trident II D5 missiles


USS Maryland (SSBN 738) (Gold). Photo: US Navy.

KINGS BAY (BNS): US Navy submarine, USS Maryland (SSBN 738) (Gold) have successfully conducted two Follow-on Commander's Evaluation Test (FCET) of its two Trident II D5 missiles.

The missile flights of FCET-42 and FCET-43 mark the 131st, 132nd, 133rd and 134th consecutive successful test of Trident II D5 missile on June 8th and 9th, according to a US Navy news release.

The Trident II D5 fleet ballistic-missile is the latest generation of submarine launched ballistic missiles following in the success of the Polaris, Poseidon, and Trident I C4 programmes. It provides increased firepower, flexibility, and assurance to the strategic deterrence mission.

"The Strategic Weapons Facility Atlantic, Naval Ordnance Test Unit, Lockheed Martin and a number of contractors all make a huge effort to ensure the safety and realism of this test," Lt. Cmdr. Shaun Servaes, weapons officer, Submarine Squadron 20, said in the release.

"An SSBN crew's mission is deterrence but this test of their weapons' system is proof that if called upon for national defence, they are ready, he said.

USS Maryland submarine (SSBN) has a unique stealth, agility, payload and persistence which keep it undetectable and it is the only survivable nuclear deterrent platform in the United States arsenal.

The test was conducted to verify the reliability, accuracy, and performance factors of the missile and its launch systems. The missile was targeted to a special weapon range and many safety features and redundancies were taken to insure the missile position.

The USS Maryland successful launches have added more glory to the achievements of the "Fighting Mary".

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